In Feb 1840, about six months after his arrival, Ellen Nussey came to the Parsonage for a three weeks stay. Neither she, nor the Brontë girls had ever received a Valentine card; so it caused quite a stir on the morning of February 14th. when they each received one. Of course, the culprit was the scheming Weightman. In his usual mode of conduct, he had made a bold attempt to add a little sparkle to the girls' lives, and in a vain attempt to disguise his handiwork, had walked the ten miles to Bradford to post them. He had written verses in each of the Valentines; however, only the titles of three of them are known, but these give a general idea of their content: 'Fair Ellen, Fair Ellen', 'Away fond Love' and 'Soul divine'. The girls were not to be fooled by the Bradford post-mark, and soon realised that the chirpy curate was the guilty party. However, being so delighted with that morning's events, the four conspired to write a poem which they promptly returned to Weightman
A Rowland for your Oliver
The legendary British illustrator of children’s books, Kate Greenaway, designed Valentines in the late 1800s which were enormously popular. Her Valentine designs proved sold so well for the card publisher, Marcus Ward, that she was encouraged to design cards for other holidays.
Some of Greenaway’s illustrations for Valentine cards were collected in a book published in 1876, Quiver of Love: A Collection of Valentines.
By some accounts, the practice of sending Valentine cards fell off in the late 1800s, and only revived in the 1920s. But the holiday as we know it today firmly has its roots in the 1800s.
Victorian Valentines Could Be Works of Art