Chapter

Benefits and Blessings Letters Home, Friendship, Death Notices, Courtship, and Valentines by Penny Post

Catherine J. Golden

in Posting It

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033792
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039336 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813033792.003.0006
Benefits and Blessings Letters Home, Friendship, Death Notices, Courtship, and Valentines by Penny Post

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This chapter considers beneficial types of communication that one can trace to the Victorian letter-writing boom following postal reform. Staying connected with friends and relatives across the new class society was a central reason why the Victorians believed they needed Post Office reform. Accordingly, letters of mourning, advice, friendship, health, courtship, law, business, as well as valentines, although in use prior to Uniform Penny Postage, rose in popularity following reform, offering evidence that the reformed Post Office enabled many more Victorians to reach out to others and stay connected, much as postal reformers had hoped. Calling upon a range of visual and textual sources, this chapter examines postal commodities that carry memories of Victorian mourning, family and friendship ties, and courtship rituals during a period where home and family were sacrosanct, romantic love increasingly affected marriage choices, and death palpably informed daily life.

Keywords: Victorian letter-writing; courtship; Victorian valentines; Penny Postage; romantic love

Chapter.  16408 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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