I was going to write about the history of Valentine's Day, but NPR does a perfectly good job of it in this story. No need to reinvent the wheel:
The Dark Origins of Valentine's Day
Well OK, I can't resist embellishing with a little additional info. that I came across in my internet sleuthing. The day as we know it probably has it's origins in the medieval tradition of courtly love. Chaucer is the first person known to mention a "Valentine's Day" in his poem, The Parliament of Fowls, written somewhere around 1382 give or take a few years.
The first actual Valentine known to us was written by a French Duke - Charles, Duke of Orleans - from his river-view room in the Tower of London. He was confined there after being captured at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. During his relatively comfortable 25-year long captivity in England, he became something of an accomplished poet, and this note to his wife can still be seen on display in the British Museum:
“Je suis desja d'amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée…”(Charles d'Orléans, Rondeau VI, lines 1–2:)
The old French roughly translates to
“I am already sick/bored of love
My very gentle Valentine…”
|An illumination of Charles, Duke of Orleans |
imprisoned in the Tower of London
Wishing everyone a heartfelt Valentine to start the week. I've included an incredibly random playlist below of Valentunes from my iTunes library. I have a truly bizarre mix of songs as a result of my kids and I sharing a library. There is no rhyme, reason or order to the song selection. The songs might be a little slow to load, so be patient. Enjoy!