Valentine’s Day is nearly here, with heart-adorned cards, bumper boxes of chocolate, bouquets of red roses and teddy bears wearing T-shirts emblazoned with cutesy messages starting to appear in shops across the country.
Now heavily commercialised and laden with expectation, the annual event was once a day where people earnestly showed their love and affection for another person.
The oldest surviving Valentine’s poem was written by a prison-entrapped, pining lover: Charles, Duke of Orleans wrote it for his wife in 1415, confined in the Tower of London after being captured at the Battle of Agincourt.
However Valentine’s Day was celebrated for centuries before that. From who the saint was to the…