Valentine of the day: ‘Please Sir!’

The anonymity of a Valentine’s card allows the sender to voice feelings that cannot be expressed openly. Perhaps partly for this reason, Valentines have traditionally been much more often sent by women than by men. 

For women in the mid-19th century, whose interaction with men was limited by strict codes of correct behaviour, sending a Valentine must sometimes have felt especially liberating.  

This cheeky card with its paper doll and handwritten message was made in about 1860.

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