A tiny needlework sampler, perhaps for use as a bookmark, circa 1830
When he was in his teens young Master F signed off texts and phone calls to his mates with, "Love you!" and "Love you too!", but I suspect this was an ironic posture rather than an expression of sincere feelings towards those other young scamps.
If I were to send overly affectionate emails and letters to my good friends I think they might be a little alarmed, but in the nineteenth century effusive declarations were commonplace. Here's Emily Dickinson ...
...writing to her friend and, later, sister-in-law, Susan Gilbert:
"If you were here - and Oh that you were, my Susie, we need not talk at all, our eyes would whisper for us, and your hand fast in mine, we would not ask for language..."
Just Good Friends? The Ladies of Llangollen, Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby.
Plas Newydd, their happy home.
In 1817, Eleanor wrote to her friend, Mrs Montagu:
"I kept my bed all day with one of my dreadful headaches. My Sara, my tender sweet love lay beside me supporting my head till one o'clock...
Even their cats were loved up - this painting is still at Plas Newydd.
"...Mrs Tatters (our cat) uneasy that we did not come downstairs at the usual hour, scratched at our door for admittance, came on the bed to me and lay there till ten o'clock at night purring all the time. A day of tenderness and sensibility."
Louisa May Alcott wrote;
"Perfectly respectable Victorian women wrote to each other in terms such as these: "I hope for you so much, and feel so eager for you...that the expectation once more to see your face again, makes me feel hot and feverish." They recorded the "furnace blast" of their "passionate attachments" to each other. They carved their initials into trees, set flowers in front of one another's portraits, danced together, kissed, held hands, and endured intense jealousies over rivals or small slights."
However, I cannot imagine that my lowly Victorian ancestors had time or energy to spend on indulging such wild fancies. I did...
...but by the 1960s the Beatles were the only objects of my inflamed passion!