American Literary Annuals and Gift Books, 1825-1865
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Based on Ralph Thompson's definitive bibliography of the same name, American Literary Annuals and Gift Books, 1825-1865, contains some of the best literature and art from the pre-Civil War period. This collection contains 469 titles, focusing on The Atlantic Souvenir: A Christmas and New Year's Offering -- a lavishly decorated, fully illustrated anthology of prose and poetry.
These books were works of art as much as they were literary collections, romantic both in content and design. The annuals, some bound in gold-stamped leather, encouraged the contributions of well-known and lesser-known authors as well as embellishments provided by American artists and engravers. The gift books provided a testing ground for untried authors as well as a substantial representation of works by better-known contributors, including:
Part One reproduces the title page, publishing information, table of contents and list of illustrations with painters and engravers for each of Thompson's major entries, arranged in alphabetical order.
Part Two contains indices for editors, publishers, cities and states of publication, stereotypes, printers, titles of poems and stories, authors, titles of illustrations, painters and engravers. The order of the indices follows the order of the information found in the entries in Part One.