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Valentines Day Flowers-The Martyrdom of St Valentine

Updated: Apr 11

A young couple celebrating Valentines Day. Myth or Mystery
A young couple celebrating Valentines Day. Myth or Mystery?

In the annals of history, the genesis of Valentine’s Day does not lie in Valentines Day flowers. It is shrouded in layers of mystique and folklore, its contemporary embodiment as a day of amorous affection and romantic indulgence rooted in the tapestry of Christian lore and ancient Roman rituals.

In the annals of ancient Rome, amidst the shadows of persecution and the whispers of clandestine affection, the name of St. Valentine emerges as a poignant symbol of love's endurance in the face of adversity. The martyrdom of this revered saint, characterised by acts of love and defiance, remains etched in history as a testament to the triumph of compassion over tyranny.

The precise origins of St. Valentine's life are shrouded in the mists of time, mingling fact with folklore. According to tradition, Valentine was a Roman priest during the reign of Emperor Claudius II in the third century AD, a time when the Christian faith was viewed with suspicion and believers faced persecution for their convictions.

Valentine's defiance of the imperial decree, which prohibited marriages for young soldiers, encapsulated his unwavering commitment to love and compassion. Recognising the injustice of the edict and the anguish it inflicted upon countless couples, Valentine clandestinely performed marriages for young lovers, defying the dictates of the emperor in the name of love. His actions, though veiled in secrecy, echoed with the resonance of defiance against oppressive authority.

However, Valentine's benevolent deeds did not escape the vigilant eyes of the Roman authorities. In the year 269 AD, Valentine was apprehended and brought before the prefect of Rome. Confronted with his flagrant disregard for imperial decrees, Valentine refused to renounce his faith or abandon his convictions. Instead, he boldly affirmed the supremacy of love over the temporal laws of man, a declaration that sealed his fate as a martyr.

Legend holds that during his imprisonment, Valentine forged a bond with the jailer's daughter, who was blind. Through his prayers and steadfast faith, Valentine miraculously restored her sight, a miraculous act that kindled the flames of love in her heart. On the eve of his execution, Valentine penned a farewell message to his beloved, signing it simply, "From your Valentine," a phrase that would endure through the ages as a symbol of enduring love and devotion.

 St. Valentine was martyred for his unwavering and boundless compassion.
St. Valentine was martyred for his unwavering and boundless compassion.

On February 14th, in the year of our Lord 269 AD, St. Valentine was martyred for his unwavering and boundless compassion. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270.

Valentine's legacy, however, transcends the confines of time and space, inspiring countless generations to cherish the transformative power of love and the indomitable spirit of defiance in the face of oppression. In an age fraught with discord and division, the story of St. Valentine's martyrdom serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us that even in the darkest of times, love remains the eternal light that guides humanity towards compassion, unity, and redemption.

From the hallowed accounts of Saint Valentine's martyrdom to the poetic musings of Geoffrey Chaucer, and the commercialisation that characterises its modern iteration, Valentine’s Day has traversed epochs, metamorphosing into a global observance cherished by millions annually. Whether through the exchange of tender sentiments, the savoring of intimate dinners, or the simple joys of companionship, Valentine’s Day perennially stands as a testament to the enduring power of love and gratitude.

Oruch postulated that prior to Geoffrey Chaucer's literary oeuvre in the late 14th century, there existed scant documented evidence linking St. Valentine with romantic traditions.
Oruch postulated that prior to Geoffrey Chaucer's literary oeuvre in the late 14th century, there existed scant documented evidence linking St. Valentine with romantic traditions.

Jack B. Oruch, in his scholarly pursuits, offered a compelling perspective on the origins of Valentine’s Day in his seminal treatise, "St. Valentine, Chaucer, and Spring in February." Oruch postulated that prior to Geoffrey Chaucer's literary oeuvre in the late 14th century, there existed scant documented evidence linking St. Valentine with romantic traditions. Chaucer's notable compositions, including "Parlement of Foules" and "The Complaint of Mars," potentially played a pivotal role in popularising the association between St. Valentine and romantic love. Moreover, Chaucer might have seized upon the fortuitous timing of Valentine’s feast day on February 14th, aligning with the perceived onset of spring in 14th-century Britain, to forge this connection.

Saint Valentine
Saint Valentine

The enigmatic persona of St. Valentine has engendered a profusion of interpretations and conjectures regarding the genesis of Valentine's Day. While some proponents contend for its roots in the ancient festival of Lupercalia, others posit alternative narratives, including the melding of disparate Valentines into a singular figure. Notably, a popular tale recounted by The Boston Globe in 1965 suggests that St. Valentine's martyrdom, characterised by acts of love and defiance, precipitated the tradition of celebrating Valentine's Day. However, dissenting voices, such as Oruch, advocate for an alternative hypothesis, suggesting that Geoffrey Chaucer wielded considerable influence in shaping Valentine's Day into a celebration of romantic love. Oruch's assertion pivots on the premise that Chaucer's literary prowess, notably exemplified in "Parliament of Foules," spurred the cultural assimilation of St. Valentine with themes of romance and courtship.

Historical fiction/thriller author Paul Rushworth-Brown
Historical fiction/thriller author Paul Rushworth-Brown

Paul Rushworth-Brown is the author of three historical thriller novels:

Cult classic 'Skulduggery' by Paul Rushworth-Brown
Cult classic 'Skulduggery' by Paul Rushworth-Brown

BOOK CLUB: Skulduggery

March 27, 2023



Click to rate this book!

[Average: 5]

Skulduggery by Paul Rushworth-Brown is a historical crime story and also a story of love. It is set in the early 1600s in England during a time of unrest and violence.

Queen Bess, Elizabeth I, had died and King James now reigns. A Catholic plot against him, The Gun Powder Plot, has put the country in turmoil.

Catholics were hunted, tortured and imprisoned. The poor were poorer, food was scarce. It was a difficult and dangerous time.

On the moors of Yorkshire Thomas Rushworth is reminiscing the past, from the death of his father to the present time. There have been good times and bad, happy times and sad.

His life as a peasant is to tend in the fields for the Lord from sunrise to sunset, pruning, weeding, harvesting and ploughing.

One night Thomas and Margery, his mother, come across a drunkard who had been bashed and robbed. John Hargreaves had won money at the King’s Arms, been followed and his winnings stolen. They help John to their cottage and assist him.

This chance meeting with John Hargreaves changes the lives of both families.

Margery has noticed John’s daughter, Agnes, and has plans for her to marry Thomas.

The Hargreaves and the Rushworth families attempt to get to the bottom of the thieving and attacks, putting themselves in danger.

The historical aspect of the story keeps you interested as you learn how the rich and the poor lived at the time. All the fines, the dues, the death and wedding fees all paid to the Lord of the manor.

The relationships between the characters keep you engaged.

The dictionary definition of Skulduggery is “underhand, unscrupulous, dishonest behaviour or activities”. There is definitely plenty of this in the story.

This is a book for fans of historical fiction. It is well written using the language of the time to describe the events.

Red Winter Journey is the follow up book. This book is set in 1642 and follows the Rushworth family now caught up in the ravages of the English Civil War.

It is interesting to mention that Paul Rushworth-Brown embarked on a project to write a family history for his children. Through his research it has led him to a passion for writing historical novels.

Thank you to the Shawline Publishing Group and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this interesting book.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Skulduggery by Paul Rushworth-Brown. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

See the reviews on the Beauty and Lace Website. Click above!

Red Winter Journey

Cover of novel Red Winter Journey
Red Winter Journey-another novel by Paul Rushworth-Brown

Embark on an extraordinary adventure through the pages of "Red Winter Journey" by Paul Rushworth-Brown—a captivating historical masterpiece that thrusts you into the heart of the English Civil War in 1642. Step into a world of relentless turmoil and unyielding courage as you follow the unforgettable odyssey of Tommy Rushworth, a young peasant thrust into the maelstrom of the Parliamentary Army. Feel the pulse-pounding intensity of battle, experience the chilling winds of winter, and witness the unbreakable spirit of humanity in the face of adversity.

As Tommy's father, Thomas Rushworth Sr., races against time to rescue his son from the clutches of war, a tale of unwavering love and family bonds unfolds before your eyes. Amidst the chaos, a tender and passionate romance blossoms between William and Lucy, defying the oppressive forces determined to tear them apart. In a landscape rife with intrigue, the resilience of the Rushworth family shines as a beacon of hope.

Paul Rushworth-Brown's masterful storytelling breathes life into the past, crafting a tapestry of suspense, unexpected passion, and historical accuracy that captivates your senses. Delve into the lives of ordinary individuals ensnared in the grip of extraordinary circumstances, and gain a unique perspective on a pivotal period in history.

"Red Winter Journey" is more than a novel; it's an emotional whirlwind that leaves you gasping for air, craving more with every turn of the page. Become part of the legion of readers enchanted by Paul Rushworth-Brown's gripping narratives. Immerse yourself in a world where history isn't just recounted—it comes alive, surging through your veins with every word.

Don't miss your chance to experience the magic of "Red Winter Journey." Join us in this immersive journey where the past is vividly present, and prepare to be spellbound by a tale that resonates long after the final page.

"A fictional, historical novel about a loving peasant family caught up in a 1642 shocking Civil War. Humour, romance, adventure and excitement are here to enjoy. A great story.

Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On

Cover of Dream of Courage
Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On being made into a screen play

Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On

An Editorial Review: Beggars, Cutpurses, Outlaws, oh my - an Editorial Review of "Dream of Courage"

Book Blurb:


Leaving the desolate moors behind, the brothers venture to Leeds with dreams of escaping poverty's clutches and carving their names into the annals of history.

In a world teeming with beggars, cutpurses and outlaws, the Rushworth brothers navigate treacherous paths, facing fear and uncertainty head on. Amidst the backdrop of a ruthless era, where murder and theft weave a web of ominous intrigue, the enigmatic tavern keeper, Smythe, holds their fates in his hands.

A pirate captain, Captain Girlington, steps into their lives, harbouring secrets and a choice between love and the call of the sea. The brutish Jacob Wilding enters the fray, driven by relentless determination to capture Robert Rushworth and claim a perilous reward.

Bound by a curse that threatens to consume them, the Rushworth brothers must confront their inner demons and forge a path back to success.

In a tale where historical fact merges seamlessly with heart-pounding fiction, Dream of Courage unravels a tapestry of suspense, intrigue and human resilience to be experienced...

"Another great work by a very talented author who loves his period works and characters from his great plots. He writes with verve and intent to deliver the imagination something unexpected and greatly appreciated... Brilliant..." Gavin, Readalot Magazine reviewer

Book Buy Link:

Like many citizens of eighteenth-century England, brothers John and Robert Rushworth just want to make their fortune. Jacob Wilding just wants a fortune as well but believes that his path to that fortune will come to fruition by capturing Robert and redeeming a reward that will completely change his life. A colorful cast of characters, adventure at sea, a bit of forbidden love, murder, and mystery make Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On by Paul Rushworth-Brown a book that readers won’t be able to put down. Will Jacob cash in on the bounty on Robert’s head or will John and Robert narrowly escape and find their fortunes after all? Expertly written and full of action, Rushworth-Brown has created a fantastic story in Dream of Courage: Facing Fead Head On.


Tommy loved his wife. She was younger, a country rose. Her freckled face and bright persona improved the mood of all who met her. The high cheek bones and fresh, pale skin was flushed with a rosiness from the heat of the fire. When she untied the ties of her wimple she would shake her dark hair loose allowing it to drop down past her shoulders. Her blue eyes glinted with glee.”


One thing that really sets this book apart from others about this time period is the sense of adventure that the story brings. From swashbuckling pirates to treacherous journeys, the Rushworth brothers experience a life that is most likely far more exhilarating than the average citizen of eighteenth-century England.


The evening hung heavy with a sense of impending loss as William stood outside their humble cottage, the crisp air biting at his cheeks. His gaze was fixed on the door, his heart pounding with a mixture of anxiety and hope. Isabel, his beloved wife, had been laboring for hours, and every minute that passed felt like an eternity.”


Rushworth-Brown’s writing is incredibly easy to read and follow. He writes in a way that draws the readers in and provides detailed descriptions and imagery in every paragraph. This allows readers to better picture the places, events, and people that are being referenced within the story in their minds. His use of detail is by far one of the best features of Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On. In addition to excellent writing, Rushworth-Brown also includes a lot of action in the story. This keeps the plot moving along nicely and creates excellent pacing. Readers who often find themselves struggling to stay engaged will most likely not find that to be an issue when reading Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On.


Robert paced the small chamber, his frustration gnawing at him like a persistent ache. The spoils of their illicit endeavors lay scattered on the worn wooden table—glittering trinkets, jingling coin, and the remnants of their daring escapades. But amidst the stolen treasures, an invisible divide had taken root, threatening to cleave the once unbreakable bond between the twins.”


The author clearly has a passion for history and it is very evident in his writing. He weaves the tales and describes the historical time and setting in a way that readers can visualize what life was like during this time period. One of the things that the author does is include footnotes with information about the items he references for the readers. That author clearly recognizes that many casual historical fiction readers might not possess an in-depth knowledge of particular historical terms or references so he provides that information for them via footnotes addressing everything from the description of food to job descriptions. This is unusual for a fiction book but it was a very nice touch. Readers will appreciate this thorough approach of the author.


With each strike, Will stood tall, his defiance a testament to his strength and resolve. The pain was sharp, but he refused to let it break him. As the whipping stick fell once more, Will's gaze remained steady, a spark of determination flickering within him. He would endure, he would fight, and he would stand strong for his family and the truth they held dear.”


The likely intended audience for this Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On are those who enjoy historical fiction and adventure books. It is fast-paced and will be a great choice for readers who often find themselves easily distracted. At close to five hundred pages, readers who are not accustomed to lengthier books might find it to be overwhelming but the pacing and action within the book will help many readers look past the length of the book. The book does appear to be part of a series which will delight readers who love Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On.


The fire burned low, its embers casting a faint glow upon their faces as they exchanged silent vows. The journey ahead would not be easy; they were up against powerful forces, entwined in a conspiracy that reached far beyond their understanding. But they were not alone. Their determination, their resilience, and the glimmering sapphire that now rested in their possession, would guide their path.”


A tale of adventure wrapped up with a touch of mystery, Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On earns a 4.5 out of five rating. Adventures and history combine to create a book that readers will thoroughly enjoy. It is a great choice for those just dipping their toes into historical fiction.


“Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On” by Paul Rushworth-Brown receives 4.5 stars from The Historical Fiction Company


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