Red Hearts and Roses?

Welsh Valentine Songs and Poems

Author(s) Rhiannon Ifans

Language: English

Genre(s): Welsh Interest

  • January 2019 · 368 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786833716
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786833723
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786833730

About The Book

Who was Saint Valentine, the saint who gave his name to the festival of lovers in Wales? 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 This volume addresses these questions, but focuses more specifically on the previously unpublished Welsh poetry written over the centuries on the feast day of Saint Valentine in mid-February, the one saint’s day in the Christian calendar of saints that does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 a celebration of the feast day – far from resembling anything else on offer in any other part of Britain, these Welsh songs are lyrical, expressive, and often in cynghanedd (the concept of sound-arrangement within a line). This volume analyses the first 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.


 To read Rhiannon Ifans article on her volume, visit Parallel.Cymru website

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Rhiannon Ifans

Rhiannon Ifans is retired Dyson Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts, University of Wales Trinity Saint David. She is General Secretary of the Welsh Folk Song Society, and editor of the annual journal Canu Gwerin / Folk Song.

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