Today is Saint Valentine's Day as you must know from all the advertisements that have been coming at you for at least a month. You can read a bit of the history of Saint Valentine through a link from last year's blog post here.
Much is said about romance during this time, but it's not usually the kind of romance of history and literature, (and no, I don't count Harlequin's as literature). The romance I look to is in the heroic tales of adventure and sacrifice like Beowulf, the King Arthur legends, The Faerie Queen, ancient myths, fairy tales and more modern works such as The Lord of the Rings. It is an easy thing to seduce, but an altogether other thing to woo, to have love and honour expressed through bravery and sacrifice. This is not reserved for men either, it is universal. Though often portrayed differently, females in romantic stories must also be brave and sacrifice. Can anyone doubt Penelope's courage in the midst of the hoards of suitors
or Eowyn's courage and righteous anger in doing battle with the Witch-King of Angmar?