Saturday, February 20, 2016

Countdown Day #9: Leap Into Love (the Victorian Way)

Kristin Holt | Leap Into Love the Victorian Way: Leap Year Romance!

American Victorians recognized Leap Year and its various Old World traditions and many took them seriously.

Newspaper: Weekly Kansas Chief, Troy KS, 21 January 1892. Courtesy:


Leap Year Greeting Cards

While the once-in-every-four-years occasion was often marked by greeting cards mailed to family, friends, and acquaintances (and some cards were often ribald and off-color), many such pieces of correspondence poked a bit of fun at the long-held traditions of Leap Year (not just the 29th of February). Other event cards were most genuine, some offering young ladies a way to express her interest in a swain (era-appropriate term for a male admirer or suitor) and retain her dignity.

LEAP YEAR IN THE WEST: The western method, while rough and uncouth, still brings practical results in 1908. Postcard. Courtesy: Used with permission.


All Jokes Aside...

Newspaper articles verify that marriageable young women took their opportunities to exercise what society and proper decorum had labeled manly responsibilities. Ladies called for young men at their homes to accompany them to Leap Year dances and parties. Newspaper articles not only address the proper way for a young woman to go about offering a serious proposal of marriage (see article, above), but also how a young man could respectfully go about saying no without causing undo damage to that young lady's feelings. Curiously, newspapers reported many happy occurrences where young couples admitted a Leap Year proposal, but down the road a few years few happy couples seemed willing to admit their course to "conjugal felicity" (one of my favored Victorian American phrases) began with the wife proposing marriage to her now husband.

A legitimate offer of  marriage, through the mail, or another lighthearted joke? You decide! Source: Pinterest

MORE Victorian American Leap Year coming soon...

I'm tickled to present Victorian Leap Year Traditions, Part 1 (link live on 2-28-16) and Victorian Leap Year Traditions, Part 2 (link live on 2-29-16). Each will address historic documentation of American Victorian Leap Year dances, parties, newspaper accounts of young ladies popping the questions, best advice from gurus for young men navigating the challenge of Leap Year, and so much more. Please mark your calendars and plan to stop by on Leap Day!


Do YOU know anyone whose attachment became 'official' from a woman exercising her Leap Year prerogative? Please respond! (after all, doing so enters you in the drawing associated with our Countdown to Leap Into Love!)

And don't forget the COUNTDOWN Rafflecopter!

I'm pleased to contribute an eBook of my newest release, MAIL ORDER BRIDE: A TIMELESS ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY in the grand-prize.


I gave away one kindle edition of this popular new release to one winner in each of two drawings held here at Sweet Americana Sweethearts in early February (here AND here). (Thank you, everyone, for your interest!).


Day #9  of Countdown to Leap into Love featuring:

Kristin Holt

Learn more about this author by visiting her author page. Click HERE

To chat with all of our authors and have a chance to win more prizes, join us at our  

Leap into Love Facebook Party

on Monday, February 29th ~  Leap Day! ~ from 5:30 to 8:30p.m. Eastern Time

Join the party by clicking HERE. 

Hi! I'm Kristin Holt.

I write frequent articles (or view recent posts easily on my Home Page, scroll down to mid to lower) about the nineteenth century American west–every subject of possible interest to readers, amateur historians, authors…as all of these tidbits surfaced while researching for my books. I also blog monthly at Sweet Americana Sweethearts (first Friday of each month) and Romancing the Genres (third Tuesday of each Month).

I love to hear from readers! Please drop me a note. Or find me on Facebook.

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Copyright © 2016, Kristin Holt, LC


  1. What a great post, Kristin!. Who would have thought there were leap year traditions! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Penny!
    Thanks for stopping by. I was amazed, too!

  3. I enjoyed the trip down "Leap Year" history. What fun. Doris/Angela

    1. Thank you, Doris/Angela! It's good of you to stop by.
      ~ Kristin

  4. Thank you for sharing about leap year. I look forward to reading Victorian Leap Year Traditions. Very interesting information!

    1. Thank you so much, Anita! I so enjoyed researching the Leap Year observances of our American Victorians. I hope you'll make it back to my site on the 28th and 29th (or anytime thereafter) to see 'the rest of the story' (as Paul Harvey put it).

  5. My favorite decade is the 1860's and 1870's because our country still did not have many of the modern conveniences, and the people of these decades were much more self-reliant and were still moving to settle the West after he Civil War. There were a lot of emotions due to having been in a horrible war for those in the North and South and West!

    1. So true! And isn't history fascinating? My books (currently) range from 1870 to 1900-- a 30-year time span with significant changes in the United States, the frontier 'closed', the political mindset, so many changes in attitudes and challenges and beliefs... writing a story in 1870 was out of necessity much different than 1900. Thank you so much for dropping by and contributing!
      Kristin Holt

  6. I entered the giveaway which was difficult. I finally did everything except find and copy the RSS one. I could never find it on the right or anywhere on the post.

    1. Thank you for this valuable and important feedback, Connie. I'll pass it along directly to our blogspot/site owner and the ladies who made the rafflecopter to make sure we've done the best we could. =) I love technology until it fails us. =/ Many thanks for taking the time to let us know we have a problem.
      With warm appreciation,
      Kristin Holt