Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Clark has acquired a very rare chapbook published by George Smeeton, entitled “The Lover, or Cupid’s Mirror.” Chapbooks were small, cheap booklets that dispensed writings that were political, religious, poetical, literature or popular to the general public. Because they were so cheap to make and distribute, not many have survived. This is one of only two Smeeton Valentine’s to be recorded in the major on-line library systems, and the only recorded Valentine with this exact title.
The book contains 59 humorous and sometimes ribald Valentine poems, as well as an illustrated fold-out frontispiece depicting Cupid with his famous arrows. The illustration and the text are both unsigned; the only name associated with the work is George Smeeton.
The lover, or, Cupid’s eccentric mirror, containing a numerous variety of curious, appropriate, and diverting original valentines… London: G. Smeeton and P. Egan, [bef. 1810]. William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA.
From Library Assistant Jessica Smith.