The Gift Annual
Published annually and intended as Christmas and New
Year's presents, gift books typically contained collections of improving
essays, sentimental poetry, and expensive engravings. Bound in luxurious
and brightly colored bindings, gift annuals became a publishing phenomenon
in England in the 1830s.
Gift books were written largely by women for a female
audience, and offered a socially acceptable and well paid venue for women
to publish their writings.
[top] The Book of Beauty or, Regal Gallery. Edited
by the Countess of Blessington. London: D. Bogue, 1849. [bottom] Fisher's
Drawing Room Scrap-Book. London & Paris: Fisher, Son & Co.,