to fall under the umbrella of Laura Mandell's Poetess Archive for which I am one of the co-editors.
The Poetess Tradition (now Poetess Archive) has been accepted as an
inaugural project with
NINES and will be
supported by Romantic Circles. Because the Forget Me Not
Archive is a derivative of the Poetess project, it too will
be published with these important entities. The Archive will
continue "living," with full text, engravings, bibliographical details
and boards for all FMN volumes being added over the next 3 years
pending funding. In addition, further annual titles (using the
FMN Archive as a template) will be added to the overall
British Literary Annual Archive, including titles Friendship's
Offering, Bijou, Comic Annual and Literary Souvenir. In
addition precursors (that Ackermann copied) and later 20th-century
imitator volumes will be added to provide a context for the evolution
(and eventual demise) of the literary annual genre. Please send an
email or leave a message on the Guestbook if you have any desires or if
you use the Archive in your courses.
I am also converting my
dissertation (awarded May
2005) into a monograph on the literary history of British annuals.
The two projects (the Archive and the monograph) will complement one
another well if all comes to fruition.
We have moved! The Archive is now officially part of the
Tradition at the Miami University, Ohio (Oxford). This new project will encompass not only the Forget Me Not
literary annual, but any and all literary annuals available in the Harris, Feldman, Univ. Miami Collections and others. The annuals will be scanned and available online using TEI
standards as well as those required by NINES. I will continue adding some hyperlinked
information, but until the Archive is upgraded to TEI standards throughout, content will slow to a trickle.
January-March 2005:TECHNOLOGICAL ISSUE: Because Google, Lycos, Yahoo and other search engines have become so powerful, the pages within this site are appearing in searches without the essential (left) frame
navigation. To combat this, I have included more meta-text keywords on the Index page and have inserted an Index Page link on every page within the archive. Though a tedious task, I have not figured out how
to force searches into the framed design -- a minor problem, but one worth noting in the evolution of this archive.
This Spring, the archive will be moved to University of Miami, Ohio (Oxford)
Leigh Hunt has been added to the Prominent Contributors list. I have added links to The
Mirror of Literature in the General Reflections section; this periodical
had a practice of excerpting various literary
annuals for 1828 and 1829 with very little critical review. A search of this source resident in the Gutenberg Project will find several other references to literary annuals.
I have found several instances where engravers are denigrated by the early nineteenth-century artistic communities and accused of being "copyists" lacking imagination and originality. But, the
literary annual required such a large number of engravers that their artistic endeavors helped to bolster their artistic standing. To illustrate the industry required to render the tone, depth and colors of
painting into line engravings, I have added the original painting by John Martin, "Seventh Plague of
Egypt," which was rendered into a steel plate engraving for the 1828 Forget Me Not by Henry Le Keux, a prominent and
prolific engraver who contributed many pieces to literary annuals. The painting and engraving are accessible through the transcript of the
1828 List of Embellishments as well as through the various indexes regarding engravings.
I have added some transcriptions of
(including excerpts from Alaric Watts' biography, comments on the Countess of Blessington and a history of Rudolf Ackermann's publishing house)
to contextualize the reception of literary annuals. More reviews will be added as they are transcribed.
In addition, I have expanded the
Chronological Index of Titles. Previously, the index listed annual titles
through 1830 and only the number published during later years. The index now lists titles published yearly through 1835, a critical turning point for the genre.
Late July 2004:
After reviewing The Gem (1829-32), a short-lived annual edited by
Thomas Hood, I discovered
evidence of an imposed morality. The short prose, "A Widow," published in the 1829 Gem is attributed to Charles Lamb. However, Hood rejected Lamb's original poem, "The Gypsy's Malison," citing that it "would
shock all mothers," and inserted this other work written by Hood himself (but assigned authorial credit to Lamb, perhaps for monetary reasons). I have incorporated into the archive a
letter from Lamb to B.W. Procter (writing as
Barry Cornwall in the annuals) which includes the text of "The Gypsy's Malison," Lamb's sarcastic remarks about its rejection and "A Widow," the
prose piece Hood substituted for Lamb's "Gypsy."
I have also added to the following to the
Prominent Contributors list: Hazlitt,
Reynolds (editor of the Keepsake) and Walter Savage Landor.
Because of litigation settlements (completed in April 2004) between Sun Microsystems and Microsoft, Java (a program that allows/creates moving images) will no longer be included in Microsoft's Internet Explorer (beginning with version 6.0
which is currently available). I created this site using Microsoft's FrontPage web design program, which included Java elements in its design scheme. Now that Java is not an included element in any of
Microsoft's products, designs that I incorporated into this archive that are Java-dependent are unstable and inconsistent unless users download the JavaVM program from Sun Microsystem's website (free of charge).
However, since most users are wary about downloading new programs and because there is no pop-up window indicating that Java needs to be downloaded, I had no other recourse than to re-build certain elements of this archive, including:
- Navigation buttons ("Top"): any button that changed colors when your mouse moved over it is a hover button and a Java-dependent element;
- Transcript buttons: all buttons on the individual pages for each FMN were Java-dependent elements; if these buttons are not active, users have no way to access the transcripts or grouped
- Header Graphic in right frame: many pages included a bar at the top that was a re-design of the binding from a FMN volume; when user places the mouse over the bar, a swapped image appears
-- that swapped image has been removed; and
- Site Index: Because this archive is vulnerable to the hems and haws of the technology industry, I have expanded the Site Index to include
secondary levels of links (including access to the transcripts which would be otherwise inaccessible because these links do not appear in the Table of Contents).
This hypertextual archive will eventually be re-built using XML and TEI standards so that it is fully searchable. But that is a post-dissertation project and beyond my technical abilities now.
My dissertation research has uncovered many other important contributors to the annuals; those contributors have been added either to
Prominent Contributors (Charles Lamb, Bulwer-Lytton,
Alaric A. Watts [ed. of Literary Souvenir]) or to the
FMN Contributors (Countess
of Blessington, because she contributed to later FMN volumes).
Under FMN Contents, three new indexes have been added:
Index of Engravers,
Index of Engraving Titles and Index of
Original Artists. Each index includes the name of the original artist, the engraver, the title of the engraving and the FMN location of the engraving. Each engraving title has been linked to
its image in addition to a link to the main page of the engraving's FMN volume. Also updated is the Editors and Publishers chart: editors names have been linked to their contributions in the annuals (under
the chronological boundaries of this hypertext).
I have incorporated some "useful information" from the 1824 FMN: the
chart listing the post masters and postal rates for various areas (388-89).
This is the last time this type of information appeared in the FMN. With Alaric Watts' introduction of the
Literary Souvenir in 1825, this "useful information" and the blank memo pages
disappeared and the annual evolved into a literary miscellany; later, the genre broke into sub-genres of landscape, comedy, juvenile, religious, musical and engraving-only annuals.
Two poems in the 1829 FMN are entitled "Constancy"
and provide a verse illustration of the engraving, "Constancy."
Editor, Frederic Shoberl solicited both James Bird and
(two prolific contributors to annuals) for a poetic illustration to
accompany the engraving. Breaking with tradition, he thought both
poems touched on variant themes and thus printed both following the
engraving (with a footnote inserted between the poems explaining this).
I have added
Susannah Strickland's poem, "The
Rover's Farewell to his Mistress," which was published in the 1829
FMN. Apparently, this author emigrated to Canada from England and has become part of the Canadian literary canon with her papers housed in the Canadian National Library.
I have also added one Byron poem from the
entitled "To My
Dear Mary Anne" -- apparently an early poem of questionable
I have made minimal corrections, additions and/or changes to the
archive since the last update. At the request of Tim Sauer, a
John Galt bibliographer, I have added the transcript of John Galt's
prose piece, "The
Omen" (from the 1830 FMN, pages 99-105), which can be
accessed from the Index of Prose Titles or from the
transcript of the 1830 table
of contents. I have also added the text of 6 poems from
the 1824, 1825 and 1829 volumes. (Inclusion of these poems is based
on their use in my dissertation.) Browse the Index of Poem Titles,
the transcript of the Tables of Contents for
1825 and 1829 or the
Contributors index to find these verses.
After the final February 4 updates went "live," I reminded scholars on
the NASSR, SHARP and VICTORIA listserves of the archive's existence.
Subsequently, several scholars have browsed the site and suggested minor
revisions to the content. Many of those revisions have been incorporated with the
February 9 updates. I thank those scholars who made suggestions,
those who requested to use the archive in their courses and those who
The Index of Prose/Poem Titles
has been updated with titles
from the 1828-1830 volumes. In addition, the determination
of the missing pieces from my 1828 review copy has been solved; I
visited the Pforzheimer Collection at the NYPL to verify that several
pieces of writing were indeed poetry contributions to the 1828 volume.
In an effort to provide a full context of the annuals' publishing
phenomenon, I have created an Index of Prominent
("Canonical") Contributors to Annuals (other than the FMN).
Authors from both the Romantic and Victorian periods are included in
this index to punctuate the longevity of the genre and the draw of
established "literati" used to fill the pages. (For lack of a better
word, I resort to "canonical" as a marker of the authors who form the
core of an introductory Romantic or Victorian course.) Included in this index
are Wordsworth, Coleridge, Baillie, Barbauld, Shelley, Disraeli, Southey, Byron
(posthumously), Dickens, E. Browning and R. Browning.
All of the indexes have grown so large that I had to reduce the graphics
on each page; those pages have a new look and organization in order to
allow them to load faster. (The main alteration is the absence of the
header bar on the index pages that, once clicked, transports the user back to the Index
page [i.e., the entryway into the site]. Navigation back to the opening
Index/entryway page can be achieved by clicking on "Main Entrance" at
the top of the left frame.)
In the continued name of brevity, the left frame ("Table of Contents")
has been streamlined so that it is more readable (and lays within the
frame with a less cluttered look). A Site Index has been
added and linked from the Index page (main entrance) for those users who cannot
use frames format. The Site Index is a simple table of
first-level/primary pages, which means that any hyperlinks and/or pages
embedded within that page have not been listed.
Transcripts and facsimiles of the
1829 and 1830 volumes have
been incorporated into the archive, which completes the chronological goals of the archive.
Initially, the goal was to include up to 1832. However, I have
found that the FMN's textual status changes with the 1830 volume
and marks the overwhelming popularity and critical disdain of the entire
genre. (In the 1830
Preface, Shoberl confides to his reader that less poetry was
included in that volume to assuage requests from the reading public.)
In addition, the literary annual genre subdivides in 1830 to include
musical, religious, juvenile, etc.; the number of titles leapt from 25
in 1829 to 43 in 1830! For these reasons, further exploration in
the annuals of the 1830s will not garner any new evidence of the genre's initial popularity. Therefore, this archive will,
temporarily, conclude with the 1830 volume.
I acquired an additional copy of the 1825 volume which has the original
green paper boards and half slipcase intact. In order to show the
diversity in packaging of literary annuals, on the Facsimile &
Transcripts page for the 1825 volume, I have included images of the
boards from both copies (the paper boards & slipcase and the leather
boards). An interesting note is that the images on the
paper boards and slipcase are different. In all of the copies with
the original paper boards that I have examined, the slipcase was usually
covered with the same images as the boards for that year. In this
1825 copy, the slipcase and boards show different images, which could
indicate the production of multiple editions for the 1825 volume.
(Generally, it is cheaper to duplicate the boards' images for the
slipcase; to produce an entirely new run with variant images would cost
the publisher dearly for a new engraving.)
of the Forget Me Not has been completed and is fully uploaded
into the archive. The titles from this volume still need to be
incorporated into the Index of Prose and Poem Titles, which will be
accomplished by the end of January 2004.
The latest volume being added is
the 1828 Forget Me Not. Some of the engravings have been excised
from the available copy being used. After completion of all volumes
through 1830 in the archive, I will return and include these missing
engravings from another research volume (most likely, the Pforzheimer
Collection's copy, New York Public Library).
As my dissertation research progresses, I am
adding elements of that research to this archive. The latest
addition to the archive is Index of
Publishers and Editors of all literary annuals published
1823-1830 (including some of the more popular titles published 1831-33).
The 1823 volume has been included in the archive. The publisher, Ackermann combined formats (almanac, pocket-book, literary
miscellany, artwork) with this first publication, producing a
volume that was literary, visually beautiful and useful. See the Table
of Contents for a full list of this useful material. In
addition, I have included a transcript of the initial poem, "Poetical
Address" with the 1823 volume. (This begins an effort
to include the poetry and prose of the annuals in this archive.)
have obtained digital images of the rare 1823 volume from Beinecke Rare
Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University and am adding those
images, transcripts and engravings to the archive as well as updating all content indexes.
I have added an Index
of Poem Titles and an Index
of Prose Titles (including
dramatic scenes) for the 1824-1827
volumes. The titles are alphabetically arranged.
As you can see from the title, the hypertextual archive will be expanded
to include elements from the 1823 (FMN's first appearance) through 1830
when the genre's appearance and reception began to change -- especially
with the publication of Thomas Hood's Comic Annual, which was a
parody of the sentimental publications).
The archive has a new look to it that's much
more conducive to the vast amount of information being added. The
main Table of Contents frame on the left side of the screen has been
updated for easier access to all of this information. Under Facsimiles
& Transcripts, click on the Index of Volumes to access
each volume via thumbnail images of the boards. Or, click on the
volume year to go directly to that volume's main page.
I have added the engravings for the volumes 1824-1827 which can be
viewed either individually by clicking the title in the transcript of the List of Plates or
collectively as thumbnail images accessed from the button on
the main page for each volume. I have also linked each
image to its corresponding prose/poetry title in the transcript of each Table
In addition, after careful consideration, the Rationale has been
abbreviated in order to protect my dissertation work against unintended
"borrowing" by users. Original scholarship, specifically, has been
removed from the "live" hypertextual archive and has been incorporated into the chapters of my dissertation. (Read my
As my dissertation work progresses, I
am adding to this hypertextual archive. The current planned
additions include the 1823 and 1828-1830 volumes, the engravings from
the current volumes and newer volumes as well their accompanying
poems. With these additions, the archive is expected to include an
updated scholarly introduction which includes the history of the Forget
Me Not and more close readings of the poems published in this