Image result for pictures of vinegar valentine cards

Jane Eyre may have received one–if not from Mr. Rochester than from her horrid cousins. Called “vinegar valentines” or “penny dreadfuls”, these alternative Valentine’s Day cards were mailed to people of whom you disapproved, reminding them of their flaws and/or rejecting their love. Starting to appear in the 1840s and continuing well into the 1970s, they became as popular as the “real” penny Valentines being sent left and right on February 14th. Well before the Internet, these comically cruel cards were a reminder that human nature demands the sour with the sweet. Like the messages of today’s internet trolls, they were sent anonymously and, to make matters worse, with postage due.

Here are some examples:

vinegar valentine: “To my valentine, Tis a lemon I hand to you  And bid you now Skidoo  Because I love another  There is no chance for you.”

Lot of 4 Victorian Vinegar Valentines Don't Charles Howard Ladies Gambler 9.5"

A vinegar valentine for spurning advances.

 

Valentine to a suffragette.

You get the idea. Perhaps the closest modern day equivalent is the annoying “glitter card”:

https://www.jokergreeting.com/products/joker-congratulations-card-with-hidden-glitter?variant=10984634753

At any rate, this February 14th be sure to open all packages with care. The characters of Jane Eyre Gets Real wish you the happiest of Valentine’s Days.

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