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Friendship's Offering

Annual Remembrancer

This hand-coloured print in gold and colours seeks to inform that the Friendship's Offering or the Annual Remembrancer would make an excellent Christmas Present or New Year Gift for 1825. Published by Lupton Relfe, 13 Cornhill, London. 83 x 140mm (3¼ x 5½in).

Q Can anyone suggest what sort of gift this would have been?

A The following extracts are from “The Annuals of Former Days” which appeared in The Bookseller, November 29, 1858.

It has been the fashion, of late years, to undervalue, most ungratefully as we think, the class of highly illustrated books which formed, more than a quarter of a century ago, so striking a feature of the literature and fine arts of the United Kingdom, under the designation of “Annuals;” and which, besides the services they rendered in diffusing a taste for elegant pursuits among the middle classes, were the means of affording profitable employment to a larger body of persons connected with the executive departments of literature and the fine and useful arts, than any other order of publications whatsoever.

To the great body of booksellers, wholesale and retail, in all parts of the country, the Annuals were the sources of considerable profit, easily obtained; and that, moreover, at a period of the year when business is proverbially dull.

The Friendship’s Offering; or Annual Remembrancer, was commenced in 1824, by Lupton Relfe, formerly a bookseller in Cornhill. A few indifferent views of the Continental cities, a tale by Mrs. Opie, and some poor verses, with ruled pages for memoranda, were then its unpromising characteristics.

The two ensuing volumes exhibited but little improvement, and it was not until placed under the superintendence of Mr. T.K. Hervey that any sensible advance was perceptible.

Had the quality of the embellishments of that volume been equal to that of its literature, it would have stood a better excellent change of success; but such was not the fact; and it was not until the work had passed into the hands of Messrs. Smith & Elder that it made any pretence of competing with the Amulet or Souvenir. Under Mr. Hervey’s management, it had enlisted a very respectable corps of contributors, who did for a poet what they might not have done for the bookseller. The Friendship’s Offering was discontinued in 1844.

Source: http://www.orgs.muohio.edu/anthologies/FMN/Context/Bookseller.htm



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