"This February, the Bodleian Library showcases thirty seven items which illustrate how St. Valentine's Day was marked in the nineteenth century. The display of valentines from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera aims both to show a wide range of nineteenth-century valentines and to illustrate their complex manufacturing process. The valentines come in many forms, from exquisite creations of lace paper, silk, scraps, tinselling and artificial flowers accompanied by elaborate poetry to humble woodcuts with prosaic and occasionally insulting verses. Some valentines were home-made tokens of love, but others were produced by many hands in manufactories where skill and care were allied to business acumen. Although dating from the end of the eighteenth century, the printed valentine is essentially a nineteenth-century phenomenon. Valentines were eagerly awaited on 14 February both before, but especially after, the introduction of the Uniform Penny Post in 1840. At the height of their popularity, around 450,000 valentines had passed through the London Post Office alone, as estimated by the Postmaster-General in his 1863 annual report"