Preliminary work on a long-term study of the Old Provençal and Old French saluts d’amour, or verse love-letters, dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In proposing a project on the Old Provençal and Old French saluts, I started out with a number of assumptions that I took to be self-evident. The more I have studied the material, however, the less convinced I am of the validity of four of them in particular. The first of these misconceptions is that the salut was meant strictly for private reading. I have run across two examples thus far, one in Provençal, the other in French, that make it clear that saluts were sometimes presented publicly at court by the same performers who sang love songs and recited narrative poems of various kinds. The second of these misconceptions is that the salut, which everyone agrees originated with the troubadours, did not emerge until after 1170. But already in the 1150s, the troubadour Bernart de Ventadorn appears to have been practicing the genre. The third of these misconceptions is that the salut d’amour did not show up in the north of France until the 13th century, but there are references to the writing of saluts in romances dating from as early as the 1150s. The fourth of these misconceptions is that the paucity of saluts that have survived is an indication that there were never very many of them written. That the genre was still thriving well into the thirteenth century is, ironically, attested by Philippe de Navarre’s condemnation of it in a moralistic tract dating from about 1260. My inquiry has thus far resulted in an article, entitled Marie de France and the Salut d’amour, which is scheduled to appear in Romania. In this essay I argue, among other things, that the origins of the salut can be traced back to Ovid’s Heroides, that it was probably Bernart de Ventadorn who brought the genre to the north and Eleanor of Aquitaine who sponsored its cultivation, and that by the time of Marie de France, in the 1160s, the salut had already evolved to the point where it existed not only as an independent "lyric" genre but also as a topos that could be used in the construction of narrative scenes.