Who was Saint Valentine, the saint who gave his name to the festival of lovers? Where do red hearts and roses fit in? Or do they? This volume addresses these questions, but focuses more specifically on the previously unpublished Welsh poetry written over the centuries on the feast day of Saint Valentine in mid- February, the one saint's day in the Christian calendar of saints that does not depend on the Church for its celebration. Far from resembling anything else on offer in any other part of the UK, these Welsh songs are lyrical, expressive, and often in cynghanedd.
This volume analyses this rich collection of extant Welsh Saint Valentine's Day poems, and advances a new understanding of societal propriety in settings where citizens paid great attention to tradition.
In so doing, it offers new insights into the tradition of observing Saint Valentine's Day in Wales and, indeed, argues that although it is the fifth-century Dwynwen who is today considered to be the patron saint of Welsh lovers, Saint Valentine also handed out aid and sympathy to lovers in Wales over many centuries.