The most romantic and florid expressions of love were the fashion in the Victorian Age, which was to be expected of a time that masked and ornamented the erotic impulse. The end of that era was coincident with the golden age of the postcard (1890 to World War 1) and so we have tens of thousands of Valentine's Day postcards, many displaying high levels of imaginations and design. Each age leaves an impact of its character in its greeting cards and other paper ephemera. We see in the beautiful postcards of the late Victorians that era's predilections in both love and design. The imagery in "Victorian Valentines Postcard Book" is largely formal because, to the Victorians, love was a serious business. We see beautiful women, well-groomed children, and the classical February 14 icons of cherubs, ornate hearts and many beautiful flowers. This is a thoroughly decorated universe, featuring baroque typography, bows and ribbons everywhere, and the occasional touch of lace. So felicitously do Valentine's Day and Victoriana mesh that much of what we think of as traditional Valentine's Day imagery is Victorian in origin. We have selected 30 favorites from our collection for this gathering.
That complex of attitude and tendencies that we call the Victorian Age did not, of course, vanish on the Queen's death in 1900. It persisted and evolved until the First World War. For this book we have confined ourselves to postcards published before 1910.