Paston Letters

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Paston Letters,

collection of personal and business correspondence, mostly among members of the Paston family of Norfolk, England. The letters cover the years from 1422 to 1529, together with deeds and other documents. The family was at that time actively acquiring land and properties in the area, some of it by questionable means, including the estates of Sir John FastolfFastolf, Sir John
, 1378?–1459, English soldier. He won distinction for his long service in the latter part of the Hundred Years War. He was knighted some time prior to 1418 for service at Agincourt (1415) and in other engagements, acted as governor of Anjou and Maine
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. The collection forms an indispensable source for the history, manners, morals, habits, customs, and moneys of the people of England at the close of the Middle Ages. A portion of the letters was published by James Fenn in 1787 and 1789, but the original manuscripts disappeared and doubt of their authenticity grew. However, they were rediscovered after 1865, with additional material. A definitive edition was edited by James Gairdner (1904), and a volume of selections edited with an introduction by Norman Davis was published in 1958.
References in periodicals archive ?
ANDREA CLARKE GUARDIAN NEWS SERVICE Margery Brews to John Paston III (FEBRUARY 1477) Margery Brews addressed her betrothed, John Paston III, as her "right well-beloved Valentine", making her letter the oldest surviving Valentine in the English language.
1477: A Norfolk man received the world's first known Valentine: The oldest known Valentine's Day message in the English language was written by Margery Brews who sent a letter to her fiance, John Poston in Norfolk.
In what is the oldest known Valentine's Day message in the English language, Margery Brews sent a letter to her fiance, John Poston in Norfolk, addressed 'To my right welbelovyd Voluntyne'.