The Keepsake for 1829


A sign of Wordsworth’s increasingly diverse readership, The Keepsake was intended mainly for middle-class women. Edited in 1829 by Frederic Mansel Reynolds, The Keepsake was a yearly anthology that sold from 1828 to 1857, featuring works of poetry and prose from the most celebrated authors, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott, and Mary Shelley. The Keepsake was elegant and fashionable in appearance, often featuring gilded binding and engraved illustrations. This particular (1829) copy features the first printings of five poems by William Wordsworth: “The Country Girl” (later called “The Gleaner”), “The Triad,” “The Wishing Gate,” and two sonnets. Wordsworth was somewhat embarrassed to publish in what he called “picture-books for grown Children,” and he eventually had a falling out with Reynolds, but he was willing to try almost anything to bring in some extra income.

Contributed by Erika Free