The Forget Me Not Literary Annual for 1829

Poetess Archive: Collections

Preface to Forget Me Not, A Christmas and New Year's Present for 1829     

Preface Frederic Shoberl


1     Six years have elapsed since the Forget Me Not furnished the first model for a new class of publications in this country; and during that period it has undeviatingly pursued the even tenor of its way. Its conductors, without advancing any lofty pretensions to exaggerate its merits, or descending to choleric vituperation against those who have followed in their footsteps, have been content to secure for it those advantages which were to be derived from the kindness and talents of their numerous literary contributors, the abilities of the artists employed in its embellishment, and the exercise of their own judgment and industry, which have been extended to matters usually considered of minor importance, and abandoned to the care of subordinate agents. The pains bestowed, for example, on the typographical department, have prevented those inaccuracies and that waste of space so conspicuous in some other works of this kind, and ranked the later volumes of the Forget Me Not among the most correct products that have ever issued from the press. At the same time, a jealous vigilance in the selection of contributions, and in the removal of blemishes in style and language, has been exerted with such success that public opinion has been induced to assign to this Miscellany a decided literary pre-eminence above all its competitors.

2     Strong as may have been the claims of the work in former years to this distinction, the Editor cannot forbear expressing his conviction that they are surpassed by those which the present volume prefers; and he entertains, without fear of disappointment, the sanguine anticipation that the verdict of the Public will confirm his opinion. A glance, indeed, at its contents -- comprising more than one hundred poems and prose contributions, the authors of many of which rank among the most eminent of our living writers, and fourteen line engravings, finished with the utmost care by the first artists, from original designs by distinguished painters -- can scarcely fail to produce an impression of its superiority: and such a display may well justify a feeling of exultation which the Editor is disposed to indulge, in presenting to the world this portion of a work, which has been received from its first establishment with the most unequivocal marks of favour. That feeling, however, is not unmingled with regret, on account of the absolute necessity under which he has found himself to omit a great number of excellent compositions; and he begs the writers to attribute their exclusion solely to the impossibility of crowding materials sufficient to fill two or three volumes into the compass of one. Many of these articles he hopes still to be able to introduce.

3     The Publisher and Editor join to express their grateful acknowledgements to all those by whose literary aid they have been favoured, as well as to the artists to whose talents this volume owes its embellishments; and to George Morant, Esq. their particular thanks are due, for the loan of Prout's admirable picture of Vicenza, which has furnished the subject of one of the engravings.

Date: 1829 (Web page revisions: 04/22/2006) Author: (Web page revisions: Laura Mandell).
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