Item of the Week: Valentine’s Day edition


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.

George Smeeton was a prolific printer from between 1800 to 1830, and produced a “Valentine” every year.  He was also well known for his printings on both scandal and true crime.

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.


One Response to “Item of the Week: Valentine’s Day edition”

  1. A HARPER Says:

    I own 13 small prints of principally the Royal Family of King George III of Gt Britain. They are published by George Smeeton and dated 1818, 5 x 3 inches approx.
    The listings are
    George III King of England
    his wife Queen Charlotte, Sofia Charlotte
    Duke Kent Father to Queen Victoria, with mother Victoria, Saxe Coberg, later married August Caroline Sophie Grafin Reuss
    Duchess Kent 2nd wife, step-mother to Queen Victoria – See above
    Duke York – Prince Frederick Augustus of HanoverSon George III – married to Fredericka Charlotte of Prussia (Von Prueben)
    Duchess York – wife of Frederick Augustus Duke of York – Princess Fredericka Charlotte of Prussia (Von Pruben)
    Duke Sussex – Prince Augustus, son George III and 2 dissolved marriages Augusta Murray and 2 illigitmate children names changed to D’este
    Duke Clarence – Prince William, son George III and later KIng William IV
    Duchess of Gloucester – Princess Mary Hanover dau of George III
    Princess of Hesse Hombourg – Princess Mary of Gt Britain and later Langravine
    Prince of Hesse Hombourg – Later Frederick VI Landrave Von Hessen
    Young Napoleon – Napoleon I, Emperor France, King of Italy
    Maria Louisa 2nd wife of Napoleon I, consort, mother to Napoleon II

    Would these be rare?
    Many thanks Angie Harper


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