Too many Peanuts Valentines
I thought that I was being helpful back in 2006 when I told you “There are now two books available called A Peanuts Valentine“… but it turns out I was off by at least one. Until recently, I hadn’t known that back in 1972, Hallmark issued a book by that title. This is one of their “Thoughtfulness Library” books, a line of hardcover greeting cards that were selling for a buck each. This particular volume focuses on Snoopy getting his usual huge number of greeting cards from various females, and Charlie Brown noting that the important factor is not the quantity of valentines, but whether you get “the special one”… and turning to the reader and hoping that for them, this is the special one.
Now, I say that this book came out in 1972 – that’s the copyright date. Being that Hallmark stocks holiday-oriented materials months in advance (they’ve rolled out new Christmas ornaments for this year already), it’s an open question as to whether this was actually issued in late 1971 for Valentine’s Day 1972, or in late 1972 for Valentine’s Day 1973. It’s not that uncommon for books released near the end of the year to carry the following year’s copyright date. But in either case, the date carries some awkwardness with it.
You see, when Snoopy starts reeling off who he got cards from, the names include women who were in Schulz’s life. For obvious examples, the last three names that Snoopy invokes are Jill and Amy (two of Schulz’s three daughters) and Patty (his cousin Patty Swanson). But the very first name on the list is Joyce… the name Schulz’s first wife, whom he divorced in 1972 after a stormy period in his marriage. Snoopy may have been getting valentines from Joyce in ’72 or ’73, but Schulz? Probably not.