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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Red Hearts and Roses?

Welsh Valentine Songs and Poems

Red Hearts and Roses? paints a vivid picture of Saint Valentine, known in Wales as Sant Ffolant. This book focuses on the Welsh poetry written over the centuries on the feast day of Saint Valentine in mid-February. Rhiannon Ifans presents sixty-nine poems from manuscripts held at various libraries and personal collections of unpublished poems. Ifans also provides English translations of those poems, some musical accompaniments, and photographs of a collection of six ornately printed Valentines from the late nineteenth century sent by a hopeful lover. A lively introduction to the little-known Welsh Saint Valentine’s Day poems, this book will benefit historians, social scientists, and linguists.

368 pages | 18 color plates, 1 map, 19 musical scores | © 2018

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“One must warmly welcome a volume by a scholar who is now established as the foremost authority on this particular genre of native verse. And it is doubly gratifying to find our vibrant tradition of Valentine song being introduced here to readers beyond the bounds of Welsh-language culture itself.”


Roy Saer, Welsh Folk-Song Society

“The art of composing, singing and sending Valentine verses is an old and honoured one. This detailed, scholarly analysis of a fine Welsh custom, with translations and tunes provided, reveals the significant part it has played in our folk tradition over the centuries.”


Rhidian Griffiths

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