British Literary Annuals and Giftbooks
   This website presents a comprehensive introduction to the British literary annuals and gift books published between 1823 and 1861, to complement an Internet website index listing titles of their contents and the authors, artists, and engravers contributing to their contents at This overview of the annuals includes discussions about the evolution of the major annuals over their life cycles including characterization by genre, format, editors, authors, artists, and engravers.  The prose, poetry, and engraved illustrations are addressed separately in relation to trends in gender and subject content.  Biographical sketches are provided for major annual writers, artists, and editors.  The Index represents an estimated 1.8 million annuals that were published at sales of about 1.2 million pounds sterling. The annuals at first were a dominant outlet for poetry; however, data indicates its decline by a factor of three in the period 1825-1849. The annuals in the Index contain 9,473 poems by 1,350 poets, 3,716 prose selections by 776 authors, and 3,700 engravings by 314 engravers based on the art of 617 artists.  Five additonal essays based on uses of the Index may be found at
Links to Text:
Identifying the Annuals
Characterizing the Annuals
Poetry in the Annuals
Prose in the Annuals
Engraved Illustrations in the Annuals
My Info:
Harry E. Hootman, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina Aiken