Tuesday 26 December 2017

Glimpses of the Wonderful - Christmas Annual 1845

The rare and truly wonderful Christmas annual written anonymously by Gosse.

This is the first of three annuals in a series, but Freeman and Wertheimer ‘found no evidence to suggest that Gosse wrote the other two volumes…’

This red binding is 23a in Freeman and Wertheimer.

Annuals of this kind were popular, and the set of three was also published in the USA in at least three editions.

However, the example from my library is the first edition, published by Harvey and Darton, London.

Edmund Gosse makes but a passing reference to the volume in the biography of his father.

…His latest occupation of a purely literary nature… was to write for Messrs. Harvey and Darton a Christmas annual, which appeared the ensuing winter under the title of Glimpses of the Wonderful. This little volume, gaily illustrated in the taste of the time, was a “pot-boiler,” if ever there was one, and the author, though he had not scammed this perfunctory task, declined to allow his name to appear on the title-page.

(Note that Ann Thwaite chose Glimpses of the Wonderful as the title to her biography of Gosse, published in 2002.)

© John Dunn.