The Book Club of California generously agreed to host a public lecture and exhibit of all things literary annuals. I brought British almanacs, including a pocketbook, a German Taschenbuch, several British literary annuals including the first one (1823 Forget Me Not), and several American gift books. (Remember, not all gift books are literary annuals, but all literary annuals *are* gift books.)

“The Rise of the Literary Annual, Powerful Femininity, and Beautiful Books: An Illustrated Talk and Pop-Up Exhibition,” Feb 22, 5-7pm. The Book Club of California

Text of this talk (pdf) plus video with slides available below.

Text of Talk

Literary Annuals Talk at the Book Club of California (pdf)

As usual, I had more pages than what I actually discussed during this 35 min talk. Some of the explanation and analysis about Ackermann’s definition  become abbreviated extemporaneous remarks rather than 600 word explanation that was written. However, the audience was becoming increasingly interested in looking at the pop-up exhibit, in which they were invited to not just observe a portion of my collection from afar but were encouraged to handle and leaf through the representatives.

Not for citation. Please see Forget Me Not: The Rise of British Literary Annuals 1823-1835. All text from the book itself. See the index for specific pages.

Video recorded courtesy of the Book Club of California

Pop-Up Exhibit

With an exhibit of a selection from my 300+ collection of literary annuals (American, British, and French), almanacs, and anthologies, the presentation ventures into show and tell about the rise of the British literary annual as a precursor to American Romanticism (1830-1865). Though The Book Club of California focuses on literature of California and the West, this exhibit and talk links to the expansion of print culture stemming from London, arguably the center of the publishing industry in the early nineteenth century and certainly the locus of innovation with the mechanization of print and paper making — especially Rudolph Ackermann, the publisher of the first British literary annual in November 1822.

If interested for the sake of the exhibit, please see the Forget Me Not: A Hypertextual Archive of Ackermann’s 19th-century Literary Annual, a digital archive of the first published British literary annual (only a few are displayed).

My book, Forget Me Not: The Rise of the British Literary Annual 1823-1835, spans far across the globe to discover the influence of literary annuals on all facets of publishing, printing, and literary production from England to America in the early nineteenth century.