- Frederick Douglass was born a slave in February of 1818. Once when he was a child, his mother called him her Valentine. He chose to celebrate his birthday on February 14 in honor of her memory. He became a staunch abolitionist and went on to edit a newspaper and to author many autobiographical works, such as A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. That's about one of the sweetest things I've ever read, and I definitely felt myself becoming emotional as I read it. Romantic value? Oh, about a 0.
- Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest opened in London on February 14, 1895. Although there is an air of romance about the play, the sheer genius of Wilde's droll wit has always been what has impressed me. Some Oscar Wilde, with or without a date, is always rewarding.
Some of the results of
the Dresden firebombing
- On Valentine's Day 1974, Alexander Solzhenitsyn was charged with treason for his book The Gulag Archipelago. The book is a detailed examination of the gulag prison system in the now former Soviet Union. Treason, exile, and Siberian prison camps: three things that don't make me feel loving or lovable.
- P. G. Wodehouse, the author of the Jeeves and Wooster books (one word: hilarious) and various other books, short stories, and plays, had a heart attack and died February 14, 1975. Not the best Valentine's Day for his loving wife Ethel.
Salman Rushdie and
The Satanic Verses
- There are at least two men to whom Valentine's Day is attributed; neither of them met a pretty end. Saint Valentine of Terni was tortured and beheaded, while Saint Valentine of Rome was merely beaten and beheaded. Either way, once you've lost your head, you're probably not thinking much about romance.
"Frederick Douglass." Notable Black American Men, Book II. Ed. Jessie Carney Smith. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.
"P(elham) G(renville) Wodehouse." Contemporary Popular Writers. Ed. Dave Mote. Detroit: St. James Press, 1997. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.