The innovation of nineteenth-century annuals : a new social influence

Schmitz, Lyane (2012) The innovation of nineteenth-century annuals : a new social influence. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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The overall image of giftbooks remains very negative for much of their critical history,and their contents are frequently depicted as unworthy of further attention. As a result, little is known about the social influences literary annuals triggered. By analysing the mediations between annuals and the context in which these books evolved, this thesis firstly tries to demonstrate their high popularity. As a social phenomenon of the nineteenth century, literary annuals cannot longer be ignored. To validate this proposition, advertisements published in periodicals of the years 1827, 1828, 1829, 1832, 1835 and 1838 have been analysed and some critical reviews written by several contemporary critics, especially William M. Thackeray and Christian Isobel Johnstone have been explored. Even though annuals were very popular with the reading public in the early nineteenth century, their negative reputation persists. Therefore, by examining the Keepsake from 1829 until 1839, in terms of numbers of male and female contributors, this project seeks to show that although male writers felt threatened by female authors their fears were groundless. However, the bad perception of annuals affected works by canonical authors such as Mary Shelley, whose tales have often been excluded from the recognised canon. This thesis is therefore focusing on the short stories Mary Shelley has provided for the Keepsake, in order to show that the techniques (frame narratives, first person narratives and the introduction of Gothic elements), she used, permitted her to write stories dressed up for the Keepsake audience by including moral behaviour. That annuals were sources of morality and public education cannot only be seen in these writings but also in the engravings and themes depicted. In addition, this project will contribute to future research on literary annuals as it reveals both the importance of tales over poetry, and the importance of Gothic and Oriental writing in the culture of the 1820s and 30s.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: No permission for electronic availability
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of English Literature
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2015 15:47
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2015 15:49
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5865
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