By David Anderson in The Conversation.
As a devoted reader of weekly comic The Dandy, the gift of its annual was an essential part of Christmas morning. In the midst of the festive excitement, I can remember clearly the thrill of discovering my first annual under the tree in 1983, and filling out the “This Book Belongs To” section in my best handwriting.
Publishers of magazines and periodicals introduced annuals during the first decades of the 19th century. Often produced with the lucrative Christmas and New Year markets in mind, the literary and artistic contributions to these gift books tapped into the sentimentality of the season. The content was influenced by the literary and cultural tastes of an emerging middle class, with the promotion of domestic scenes of home, family, and childhood.
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