Valentine's Day is an opportunity to bombard a paramour - or hoped-for paramour - with syrupy sentiment. But it has not always been quite so sweet.
The 1800s saw a trend emerge that was distinctly more acidic. Vinegar Valentines were still a chance to make someone blush, but with humiliation and hurt.
There seems to have been a card for every insult, from snide comments about baldness, jeers about personality, and jibes about status. Some taunted recipients about alcoholism and other addictions, and some even wished them dead.
Like internet trolls of today, they were anonymous, releasing a sender from social constraints and leaving them free to indulge their spite.