Worlds oldest Valentine unearthed in Britain

The world\'s oldest-known Valentine\'s Day message, written in 1477, was unveiled on Monday at the British Library and proves that when it comes to love, some things never change.

On February 14, 523 years ago, Margery Brews wrote what has become the oldest surviving Valentine\'s card, using all her womanly wiles to try and convince her lover to marry her.

She flattered her fiance, appealed to his chivalry, then she turned to emotional blackmail.
The letter is part of the library\'s Millennium exhibition: ``Chapter & Verse: 1,000 years of English literature.\'\'

John Paston, the object of her affections, needed persuading and his father, a Norfolk squire, was not impressed with the size of her dowry.

So Brews told her true love that she had asked her mother to pressure her father to increase her dowry. At the same time, she told Paston that if he loved her, he\'d marry her anyway.

``But if you love me, as I trust verily that you do, you will not leave me therefore,\'\' Brews wrote in the letter, which was stored in the library\'s archives for years.

``For even if you had not half the livelihood that you have, for to do the greatest labour that any woman alive might, I would not forsake you.\'\'

While Brews comes across as a subtle, literate, intelligent woman, her words show she was well-acquainted with the art of manipulation, the library\'s curator Chris Fletcher said.

``It\'s a fascinating story, a marvellous insight into the way love and marriage was contracted in the middle ages,\'\' he said.

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