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[170] bocker and Graham's, and even others less successful, boasted lists of contributors quite as distinguished as those which most later magazines have been able to show. It is true that in the last sixty years there has been great development in the arts of magazine editorship and of magazine authorship—the writing of articles especially adapted for publication in a periodical. But in the same time have come improvement and cheapening of the processes of printing and of illustration, and the development of advertising. Indeed, it is probable that it is chiefly in the mechanical and business rather than in the editorial departments that the better early magazines are at a disadvantage as compared with those of a later time.

Futile as the early experiments seemed, and slight as was the reward that they brought their editors and publishers, they did good service in their day. By offering a ready means for the publication of literary attempts and for the exchange of ideas on literary matters they did much to clear the literary atmosphere and to make American men of letters sane and self-respecting. Today the student of the taste and the ideals of that time finds in their files his most valuable sources of material.

Ii. Annuals and gift-books

The publications described as literary annuals and gift-books varied in many respects but they agreed in being intended not primarily to be read but to be given away. They were ‘Keepsakes,’ and ‘Souvenirs,’ and ‘Forget-me-nots,’ and ‘Tokens.’ Many of them bore as sub-titles such phrases as ‘A gift for the holidays,’ or ‘A Christmas, New Year's and birthday present.’ Almost or quite all of those published in America were literary miscellanies, the contents being original, or, in case of some of the cheaper volumes, ‘selected.’ A few, such as The Odd-Fellows' Offering and The Masonic Token were intended primarily for the members of certain organizations—there were religious annuals and temperance annuals, an anti-slavery annual, and even a ‘Knownothing Token’; but most such books made a general appeal to those who wished to bestow an ‘elegant’ offering indicative of ‘refined’ sentiment. They varied in size and elaborateness from large paper

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