The History Girls: Love, Sex and Romance in Old Japan – Valentine’s Day Special by Lesley Downer

Cherry blossom time in the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters. Utagawa Hiroshige. Los Angeles County Fund

Until the late nineteenth century, there was no word for ‘love’ in Japanese, no equivalent to the western concept of pure, ennobling, platonic love, the courtly love of chivalry. Love was the forbidden fruit.

The Japanese acknowledged the strength of love, its power to subvert the existing order, and…

Source: The History Girls: Love, Sex and Romance in Old Japan – Valentine’s Day Special by Lesley Downer

The most tragic day of Teddy Roosevelt’s life | Ephemeral New York

At the beginning of 1884, everything seemed to be going Theodore Roosevelt’s way.The 25-year-old Harvard graduate, a descendant of a colonial Dutch family with deep roots in New York City, had already written an acclaimed first book, The Naval War of 1812.

He’d also been elected to the state assembly and was making a name for himself as an energetic and outspoken Republican who wouldn’t tolerate financial corruption.

His personal life was going spectacularly as well. In 1880 he had married the tall, willowy girl of his dreams, Alice Hathaway Lee (below).Roosevelt was crazy in love with Lee and ecstatic that after a year of courtship she agreed to marry him.

On a sleigh ride near her family home in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts…

Source: The most tragic day of Teddy Roosevelt’s life | Ephemeral New York

Valentine’s Day in the Georgian Era

All Things Georgian

AN00322790_001

Courtesy of the British Museum

There were many different customs and traditions surrounding Valentine’s Day, one of which baffled the unsentimental writer of this letter to the newspaper.

Derby Mercury – 7th March, 1782

Sir,

Amongst many customs useful and ridiculous which have been handed down to us from our Ancestors, I lately observed one of drawing Valentines, on the Evening preceding Valentine’s Day, which was much in this Manner, the Boys collected all the names of females (unmarried) they could remember, and wrote them separately upon little tickets or bits of paper, which were put into a hat and shaked about for some time, when each of them drew one of these out, and the next day sent a kind of poetical epistle to the girl who was his Valentine or Lot.  I confess the meaning of this is extremely strange to me at present, as I cannot…

View original post 803 more words