Tuesday News: Valentine’s Day, The Bachelorette, and the “real” Mr. Darcy
How the Valentine’s Day Heart Got Its Shape – Ever wonder why the lovey-dovey heart emoji looks the way it does? Like most symbols, it was a gradual evolution, in this case one that owes something to courtly love, medical dissection, and developing myths about the heart’s symbolic function.
“It didn’t mean love before the 13th and 14th centuries,” says Eric Jager, author of The Book of the Heart and medieval literature professor at UCLA. When the shape was drawn before that point, it was generally for decorative purposes, he says, citing the enamel at the French Cluny Abbey (c. 1300) as one prominent example. As the idea of romantic love began to take shape during that medieval period, so did the symbolism. . . .
Carlos Machado, a cardiologist and medical illustrator, says that familiar shape does somewhat resemble the four chambers of the heart, if it is cut open, or the image of the heart that appears in echocardiograms. But the shape is even closer to the look of a bird or reptile heart — which makes sense, he says, given that the study of anatomy before the 14th century was based on the dissection of animals. It is thought that the Catholic Church objected to the d issection of the human body during the Middle Ages. – TIME
7 Unconventional Books To Give As Valentine’s Day Gifts – I never realized how many Valentine’s Day book lists contain such “unconventional” titles as Gone With The Wind and the like. Yes, that can be a romantic read, but as for lasting happiness, not so much. I like this list because it isn’t overtly hearts and flowers, but it’s not so cynical, either. It even includes Jenny Johnson’s Valentine’s Day release, In Full Velvet.
There is nothing more wonderful than sharing in the joy of a book. If you ask me, the best gifts are books that you yourself love. Sharing your favorite book is like sharing an intimate part of yourself. So, if you don’t find the perfect book on this list, think about the books that excite you the most. Or maybe even find a book that the two of you can read together. It’s the personal touch that makes giving a book so fantastically special. I’m sure Cupid would agree. – Bustle
ABC Has Its 1st Black Bachelorette … Yay? – After a mere thirty-three seasons(!!), the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise has chosen a black bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, an attorney who appeared during the current season of The Bachelor. The long-overdue change coincides with the hiring of the first African American programming head at ABC (go figure – publishers take note). It’s ridiculous (and boring, and gross) how unremittingly white the series has been, so I hope this signals a real and lasting commitment to diversity.
“I’m obviously nervous and excited to take on this opportunity, but I don’t feel added pressure being the first black bachelorette, because to me, I’m just a black woman trying to find love. Yes, I’m doing [it] on this huge stage, but again, my journey of love isn’t any different just because my skin color is.” . . .
Last year, ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey, the first African American to head programming at a major broadcast network, said she was striving for the network to have a bigger commitment when it came to diversity, especially on the dating show. – The Root
Historically Accurate Portrait of Mr. Darcy Isn’t What You’d Expect – A collaboration between Amanda Vickery, John Sutherland, and Nick Hardcastle has produced an image of Mr. Darcy that may confirm the wisdom of not ever having romantic novels illustrated.
When Austen wrote the novel in 1790, men who were broad shouldered, tanned, and toned usually indicated that they were working class, not aristocratic gentlemen. That’s why Hardcastle’s illustration portrays Mr. Darcy as pale with narrow features, and of course, a stylish powdered wig. – Bookstr