valentine n. 1. card or gift expressing love or affection, sent, often anonymously, to one's sweetheart - or satirically to a friend - on St Valentine's Day. 2. sweetheart selected for such a greeting.
St Valentine (1) Roman priest and physician who cured a boy of epilepsy and a girl of blindness, and protected persecuted Christians. Unpopular with Emperor Claudius II: clubbed and then beheaded on 14 February c AD269.
St Valentine (2) Another martyr. Bishop of Terni, beheaded in Rome c AD270.
St Valentine's Day. As a loversfest, has nothing to do with either of the abouve. Probably sprang from a Roman fertility festival coinciding with the saint's day, in which boys drew lots for the names of unmarried girls, gifts were given and a good time was had by all. Seems likely that a Christian clean-up campaign imposed St Valentine onto the existing celebration. Status as most romantic day could have something to do with the birds and the bees: birds were supposed to pair on this date:
('For this was on Saint Valentine's Day,/ When ev'ry fowl
cometh to choose her make,'
from Chaucer's Assembly of Fowls).
Valentinian I, II and III Father, son and great-nephew; Western Roman Emperors, AD 364-375, 375-392 and 425-455 respectively.
Il Valentino Nickname of Cesare Borgia (after his French title, duc de Valentinois), son of Pope Alexander VI and terror of Renaissance Italy. Reckoned the handsomest man in Italy. Liked hunting, amorous liaisons and flamboyant outfits.
Rudolph Valentino Silent-film star and cinema's first sex symbol. Fondly remembered for his dark looks, intense gaze, and flaring nostrils. Born Rodolfo Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguolla in Italy, in 1895. Emigrated to New York in 1913, worked as a gardener, dishwasher and dancer. Moved to Hollywood and played nondescript roles until the part of Julio in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) made him a superstar. Other romantic roles included The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and The Son of the Sheik. (Also made a record so bad that it was never released.) His sudden death - from a perforated ulcer - in 1926 was a national event which provoked mass hysteria and several suicides.
Anthony Valentine (1939- ), actor. Played Major Mohn in Colditz. Smooth and cold, sinister smile, convincing Nazi.
Shirley Valentine, play (1986) and film (1989) by Willy Russell. Shirley is a put-upon Liverpudlian housewife who goes to Greece to find herself, leaving her whingy chauvinistic husband to get his own tea. Pauline Collins starred in both play and film.
Dickie Valentine (1929-1971) Born Richard Brice. Immensely popular pop and cabaret singer, a teen idol of the 1950s. Found fame via Ted Heath's Sunday night Swing Sessions at the Palladium. Had 12 Top 20 hits. 'Broken Wing', 'Finger of Suspicion', and 'Christmas Alphabet' made Number One.
Val Doonican Full name: Michael Valentine Doonican, born 1928. Veteran Irish singer, jumper wearer and rocking-chair exponent (sings from one onstage). Has sold at least 11 million records.
Bobby Valentin Prolific Puerto Rican Salsa musician: bandleader and producer. His classic album is Soy Boricua ('I am Puerto Rican'), 1973.
Hilton Valentine Guitarist with The Animals, Sixties British group which made Eric Burdon and Alan Price - but not Valentine - famous. Recorded a solo LP in 1969, then got religion and left the pop scene.
Kid Thomas Valentine (1896- 1987) Legendary New Orleans jazzman (known just as Kid Thomas). Trumpeter and long- time leader of the Preservation Hall dance band.
The Valentinos The soul-singing brothers Womack - Bobby, Cecil, Curtis, Harry and Friendly - in an early incarnation. Toured with Sam Cooke, singing legendary R & B tracks like 'It's all Over Now' (written by Bobby and Shirley Womack; covered by Rolling Stones). Split up when Cooke died.
Sal Valentino Born Sal Spampinato, San Francisco, 1942. Understandable name change may have spared him an unenviable nick-name. Lead singer with Beau Brummels, Beatles-influenced pop group of the Sixties.
My Bloody Valentine Much hyped, very loud indie rock band, whose 1991 album Loveless was a big hit with students.
'My Funny Valentine' Rodgers and Hart song, borrowed from the stage show Babes in Arms (1937) for the film version of Pal Joey (1957). Sung by Frank Sinatra in the film, and subsequently by countless others including Rickie Lee Jones, Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Costello, and Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys.
Giuseppe Valentini (1680-1746) Florentine composer and violinist; a pupil of Corelli. His concerti grossi were popular in England.
Valentines to My Mother Poem by Christina Rossetti (1830-94), written in 1880.
Valentine (1832) Early romantic novel by George Sand written in her Alfred de Musset period.
Valentina: Soul in Sapphire Novel by Joseph H Delaney and Marc Stiegler (USA, 1984), in which an increasingly intelligent computer program struggles to prove her human credentials.
Mrs Valentine Victorian children's author who wrote Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes, Tales, and Jingles (1890) and Games
for Family Parties (1869).
Valentines of Dundee Scottish greetings card company founded in 1826, famous for its scenic postcards. James Valentine, 1815- 1879, was Queen Victoria's Photographer-in-Ordinary, who started the collection of 'views' which appeared on postcards from 1897. Scenic postcard production stopped 20 years ago - the collection of negatives is now at St Andrews University - though Valentines has just launched a range of fashion postcards. It no longer makes scenic postcards but has produced well over 100 designs for Valentine cards this year.
Valentine State Another name for Arizona, because it joined the US on 14 February 1912.
Valentines Park Acres of polite lawn and cricket pitch in Ilford, where north-east London becomes Essex.
Valentine's Brook Fence on the Grand National, the famous steeplechase at Aintree, Liverpool. Just after the canal turn, it is the twin of Becher's Brook but not as frightening.
Mrs Miles Valentine Well-known race-horse owner whose jockeys wear pink with cherry hearts.
Alf Valentine West Indian cricketer born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1930. He and Sonny Ramadhin were the lethal spin bowlers who posed insuperable problems for England during the 1950 tour. Their achievements were immortalised in the famous calypso by Lord Beginner, 'Cricket, lovely cricket' which goes 'Ramadhin and Valentine, those two little pals of mine . . .'
Valentino (Valentino Garavani; born 1932) Italian fashion designer of 32 years standing. Dresses Sophia Loren. His style features draped, floaty fabrics, exquisite embroidery, unfussy lines. Spent dollars 5m celebrating his 30th anniversary in the business.
Valentine Cunningham Oxford English don, critic and reputed thinking women's crumpet. Hip but not Marxist. Specialist subject: the early 20th-century novel.
Valentine Dyall Actor, best known for his sinister voice. As The Man In Black, he introduced the late-night Appointment with Fear plays on the radio from 1943. Modest film career followed from debut in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp in 1943.
Valentine US TV film starring Danny de Vito (1979). Tale of two residents of an old people's home falling in love. Panned by critics.
Valentino (1951) Italian immigrant makes it big in the States as a world-famous romantic star, but dies young . . . Awful film.
Valentino (1977) Ken Russell's more successful attempt to tell the same story, with Rudolph Nureyev in the title role.
Duchesse de Valentinois Better known as Diane de Poitiers, (1499-1566), mistress - and effective Queen - of Henry II.
Benjamin Valentine Parliamentary rebel against Charles I. Imprisoned 1630-1640. MP in Long Parliament.
Valentine More courtly, less sexy of the Two Gentlemen of Verona.
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