Comic valentines were a form of 19th-century Valentine’s Day greetings widely circulated in England and America. With their satirical jibes at any one perceived as a “queer kind of folk” (to quote a major New York publisher), comic valentines seem to have little in common with cupids, hearts and flowers. Where the sentimental valentine idealized women as objects of romantic love, the comic valentine ruthlessly lampooned women who did not meet the century’s ideals of womanhood, whether in terms of beauty, desirability, modesty, or reticence. Women who were perceived as uncontrollable were mocked in the misogynistic doggerel accompanying imagery that could depict women as snakes, as two-faced, or as deformed by ugliness that was the outer manifestation of their inner transgressiveness. It is no coincidence that the popularity of comic valentines militating against women increased in the late 1840s and 1850s, concurrent with the beginnings of the organized struggle for women’s rights in America. More about comic valentines.