To commemorate Saint Valentine’s Day, I am reposting my Adam Smith’s Lost Loves blog post (via AdamSmithWorks) as well as my full-length paper on Adam Smith in Love (via Econ Journal Watch). As an aside, according to this history of Valentine’s Day, it was Chaucer who was the first to record this occasion as a day of romantic celebration, writing in his 1375 poem Parliament of Foules: “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day/Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” So, perhaps it is not too far-fetched to imagine Adam Smith — who, alas, never married — asking someone, perhaps the Lady of Fife or Lady Francis or Madame Nicol, Will you be my Valentine?
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