L.E.L.'s "Verses" and The Keepsake for 1829
Terence Hoagwood, Texas A&M University
Kathryn Ledbetter, Texas State University-San Marcos
Martin M. Jacobsen, West Texas A&M University
This site reproduces several especially important works from The Keepsake for 1829: Letitia Elizabeth Landon's "Verses," the engraving of Edwin Landseer's painting Georgiana, Duchess of Bedford, to which Landon's poems refers, William Wordsworth's "The Country Girl"and the engraving that originally accompanied that poem, Thomas Moore's poem "Extempore," and other works. Commentaries on each selection clarify contexts for these literary and artistic works. The Keepsake (beginning in 1827 with The Keepsake for 1828, and ending in 1856 with The Keepsake for 1857) is one of the foremost among English literary annuals in the nineteenth century. Further, the literary annual was the largest, most profitable, and perhaps the most widely read venue for poetry in the second quarter of the century. Landon's poem, like the poetry of Thomas Moore, William Wordsworth, and others, is intrinsically interesting, but, further, the original settings of these works in The Keepsake modify their literary and cultural meanings. As more scholars and critics are coming to understand, the importance of Landon's work includes its revelations about the literary culture of the period. The accompanying engravings were even more highly prized in the nineteenth century, and relationships of the poetry and the visual art emerge lucidly when these works are seen in imagery that resembles that which appeared in 1828. We have composed this site because we have found that these relationships warrant more careful study. The works, however, reward even casual browsing more richly, in this form, than less visually faithful media might allow.
This hypertext edition of selections from The Keepsake for 1829, including Letitia Elizabeth Landon's "Verses," is organized to make available both the graphic images of the pages of the 1829 volume and editorial commentary, including an introductory set of essays on The Keepsake and commentaries on pages and works in that volume. In the frame on the left, an index (or table of contents for this site) lists different pages that are available in this website: click on any title, and the chosen page will appear in the frame on the right. To communicate with the editors, simply click on the name (near the end of the left frame) of the person with whom you would like communicate.
Technical Editor: Martin M. Jacobsen