Mary Shelley, Stories for The Keepsake

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Between 1823 and 1839 Shelley wrote twenty-one stories for the literary annuals, which were gift-book anthologies of verse and prose. The aesthetic of these publications was influenced by the French and German tradition of pocketbooks and annuals, as well as by the forms of the manuscript album and the commonplace book that had been very successful in England too. They were issued in rich and elegant formats, with the aim of appealing to an aristocratic, or want-to-be aristocratic, readership of women: “[p]urchasing a piece of that excess, the middle-class reader bought the privileges of ownership, a bourgeoise semblance of aristocratic (self-) possession” (Hofkosh 1993, 206). Indeed, they were especially produced for display, as a gift for educated young ladies, who were perhaps more…

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Citation: Volpone, Annalisa. "Stories for The Keepsake". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 July 2021 [, accessed 09 December 2023.]

39447 Stories for The Keepsake 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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