A Valentine’s Day insult

8:20pm Thursday 14th February 2013

Disappointed with your Valentine’s Day card or present this morning?

Well feel grateful you didn’t receive one of these vitriolic Valentine’s messages discovered by a University of Brighton lecturer.

Anyone feeling a little bit left out by today’s romance will surely raise a smile at these insulting cards.

History of art and design lecturer Annebella Pollen came across the vinegar Valentine’s while researching a project on love and courtship for the Royal Pavilion and Museums.

Dr Pollen found 44 of the insulting cards in the back of a stationer’s sample book from 1870 in the archive store of Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

Rarely used by couples to insult or break-up with their partners, the cards were more commonly used to abuse neighbours, friends, enemies, teachers, bosses or literally anyone in society who annoyed the sender.

In the early days of the custom, the insult was doubled as the recipient of the card would have to pay for the postage.

The most severe of cards actually suggested the recipient kill themselves.

Dr Pollen said: “People need a safety valve, so maybe an insulting Valentine card is a good way of letting off steam.”

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