Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

From Wikipedia:

The first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer wrote:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.

["For this was Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate."]

This poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.[21] A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on May 2, 1381. (When they were married eight months later, they were each only 15 years old).

Readers have uncritically assumed that Chaucer was referring to February 14 as Valentine's Day; however, mid-February is an unlikely time for birds to be mating in England. Henry Ansgar Kelly has pointed out that Chaucer could be referring to May 2, the celebration in the liturgical calendar of Valentine of Genoa, an early bishop of Genoa who died around AD 307.

Chaucer's Parliament of Foules is set in a fictional context of an old tradition, but in fact there was no such tradition before Chaucer. The speculative explanation of sentimental customs, posing as historical fact, had their origins among 18th-century antiquaries, notably Alban Butler, the author of Butler's Lives of Saints, and have been perpetuated even by respectable modern scholars. Most notably, "the idea that Valentine's Day customs perpetuated those of the Roman Lupercalia has been accepted uncritically and repeated, in various forms, up to the present".

There were other three authors who made poems about birds mating in Saint Valentine's Day around the same years: Otton de Grandson from Savoy, John Gower from England, and a knight called Pardo from Valencia. Chaucer most probably predated all of them, but, due to the difficulty of dating medieval works, we can't know for sure who of the four had the idea first and influenced the others.

Here, it is pretty much a day like any other ... sad but true: this romance author seldom celebrates Valentine's Day.

What are you up to today?


Your Love Style is Balanced

You tend to approach falling in love practically. You don't let your heart get ahead of your head.

You see love as an important part of your life, but it's not the whole picture. You keep romance in perspective.

You see love as calming and relaxing. Being with someone makes you feel pampered and cared for. You need a stable relationship.

You are swept off your feet by words of love. A love letter or love poem from your sweetie can make your heart melt.

That's pretty much correct.



Maria Zannini said...

I still have workmen here today and no kitchen. But at least hubby is home. :)

Brandy said...

We made each other cards last night. I did pick up small things for the family for the day.
Did you read that the Browning/Barrett letters have been put online?

Happy Valentine's Day. I hope you have a good day!