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Elizabeth Cobbold album of papercut valentines

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0936

Content Description

A bound album of papercut valentines and accompanying poems created by Elizabeth Cobbold in the early 19th century.


  • Creation: approximately 1806-approximately 1814


Biographical / Historical

Elizabeth Cobbold, née Knipe, was born in London in 1767. Her first volume of poems appeared in 1783 in a sheaf dedicated to English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, and the first of two novels appeared in 1791 around the death of her first husband, William Clarke. From 1814 she lived with her second husband, Ipswitch brewer Johns Cobbold, and their twenty-two children and stepchildren in Holywells, London. Her literary output comprised around three hundred poems and two novels. She also published under the pseudonym Carolina Petty Pasty. Cobbold was the editor of other Georgian women writers, including poet Anne Candler.

Her first Valentine took the form of a poem for her first husband, written early in their marriage. Cut Valentines, selected by friends at an annual Valentine's Day party, were first cut in 1806 and published in 1813/14. Their recipients include early entomologist Laetitia Jermyn. The cuttings show a keen attention to the natural world, with well made animals, insects, and nature scenes; Cobbold was herself an early woman naturalist, collecting fossils from the Red Crag Formation on the grounds of Holywells Park. Cobbold died on October 17 1824.

The tradition of writing and giving Valentines flourished during the reign of George II, when in 1797 a British publisher issued The Young Man's Valentine Writer," containing sentimental stock verses for the "young lover unable to compose his own."


Poems by Mrs. Cobbold with a Memoir of the Author

Elizabeth Cobbold, Georgian Polymath

Valentine's Day at Wikipedia:


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 flat box (9 x 3 x 12 inches))

Language of Materials


Related Materials

The Young Man's Valentine Writer, available in the Sheridan Library's collections.

Related Materials

Poems by Mrs. Elizabeth Cobbold with a Memoir of the Author, available in the Sheridan Library's collections.

Related Materials

Elizabeth Cobbold, Georgian Polymath, available in the Sheridan Library's collections.

Guide to Elizabeth Cobbold album of papercut valentines
Spencer Hupp
2023 May 1
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA