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Topic: Roses are red...

Roses are red; violets are blue...

February 14 is celebrated as Valentine's Day or, more fully, as St Valentine's Day, which is named after two early Christian martyrs. It was reinvented as a modern tradition in America the 1840s, when people began exchanging tokens of romantic love featuring symbols such as hearts, doves and cupids.

Flowers also have symbolic meanings and red roses in particular are commonly associated with declarations of love. However, in his book The Language of Flowers: An Alphabet of Floral Emblems of 1846, James Bertram has them representing beauty while it is blue violets that convey love. And, according to Bertram's alphabet, beware of bouquets of yellow roses, as these blooms symbolise a decrease in love.

These items from our collections also feature these popular motifs linked with love.

 

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