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[171] volumes selling for twelve dollars each to diminutive and inexpensive souvenirs which a Sunday-school teacher might present to members of her class. The bindings of the best were in leather, elaborately tooled and sometimes inlaid with mother-of-pearl, or in richly watered silk. The ‘embellishments,’ as the pictures were commonly called, were most frequently engravings on steel, though there were many coloured plates, some coloured by hand.

The annual proper was supposed to be published from year to year, though many never made a second appearance. The year was frequently made a part of the title, as The gift of Friendship, a Token of Remembrance for 1848, though sometimes the date appeared only at the foot of the title-page, or on the binding. The entire absence of a date was indicative of a desire to make unsold remainders available for the next year's market, or of still more questionable practices on the part of the publishers. Among these practices was that of reprinting an old annual with a new name, sometimes with change of plates and of leading article; or that of bestowing on an inferior work a name that had been made popular by another publisher. These devious procedures bring despair to bibliographers today, and they may originally have been one reason why the whole tribe of annuals fell into something of disrepute. A few of the annuals were in reality bound volumes of popular magazines with date-lines and other indications of periodical publication removed. The gift-books which are here considered resembled the annuals in form and purpose, but were avowedly not members of a series.

The annuals came as a late accompaniment of the wave of sentimentality in literature and art that swept over England and America during the early years of the nineteenth century. The fashion of issuing them is said to have started in Germany, whence it spread to England and a little later to America. The Atlantic Souvenir of 1826 was the first of the American annuals proper, though before that time there had been a few illustrated miscellanies which might be classed as gift-books. The number increased rapidly until, according to Mr. Faxon's excellent bibliography, ‘from 1846 to 1852 an average of sixty appeared each year.’ By the beginning of the Civil War the day of the annuals was over, though the list of holiday

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