Happy Valentine’s day, Nashe fans! It’s a time of romance, of chocolates in heart-shaped boxes,* of birds suddenly appearing every time you are near – and dildos, if you are Thomas Nashe.
‘The Choise of Valentines’ recounts the visit of ‘Tomalin’ to the brothel to which his lover ‘mistris Francis’ has repaired for safety from the law. Tomalin pays an expensive fee to the brothel-keeper for a sexual encounter with Francis, but the couple’s pleasure is marred by his premature ejaculation, which leaves Francis to finish the job with her dildo. I am mildly concerned that this post will get stuck in a lot of spam filters.
We are pleased to present two (somewhat contrasting) ‘Choise of Valentines’ e-cards, for you to send to your loved ones.** Choose your valentine’s wisely, though.
*your correspondent once worked in a shop (next to a tube station) which sold nuts and dried fruit, some covered in chocolate. From 5pm to 8pm on Valentine’s Day we were besieged by harried-looking men asking for ‘just anything heart-shaped you have’. If you were on a date in the Hampstead area on Valentine’s Day 2007 and received a poorly-constructed heart-shaped box contained chocolate-covered almonds: I’m sorry.
**the Thomas Nashe Project takes no responsibility for unfortunate romantic outcomes precipitated by sending one’s partner an e-card about a sixteenth-century sex toy.