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The Mortal Immortal by Mary Shelley, Edited by Michael Eberle-Sinatra

[This is the preface to the second volume of The Keepsake. The editor explains why the contributions are no longer anonymous.]

Preface to The Keepsake for 1829

IN presenting another volume of the Keepsake to the public, it may, perhaps, be deemed necessary to make a few general observations.

The universal approbation which the embellishments of the previous number excited, and its unprecedented sale, have determined the Proprietor to make the most strenuous exertions to render the present, as perfect as possible, both in literary matter, and in pictorial illustration.

In prosecution of this design, and on the various departments of the Keepsake, the enormous sum of eleven thousand guineas has been expended.

"Necesse est facere sumptum, qui quaerit lucrum."

In a speculation so extensive, the Proprietor is induced to hope that his book will not be a mere fleeting production, to die with the season of its birth, [iii] but live , a reputed and standard work in every well-selected library.

With this view, such a list of authors has been obtained as perhaps never before graced the pages of any one volume of original contributions: it is not however necessary to enumerate them here, as they will be found subjoined to the Table of Contents.

Neither it is necessary to particularize any of their contributions except two; one of which, as posthumous, and the other, as the gift of an individual, not its author: allusion is made to an Essay and Fragments by Percy Bysshe Shelley, for the possession of which, the Editor is indebted to kindness of the Author of Frankenstein; and to a poem called Extempore by Thomas Moore.

So many, and such varied contents, could not, of course, be contained in the limits of the previous volume: in the present one, therefore, three additional sheets of letter-press have been inserted.

The Engravings have been considerably augmented in size, and, it is presumed, in value; no exertion having been spared to render them superior even to those of last year. The type, too, has been [iv] altered, and the binding and gilding materially improved; in fact, as before stated, every effort has been made to render the Keepsake perfect in all its departments.

To his Grace the Duke of Bedford, the Proprietor offers his grateful and respectful acknowledgments for the permission of engraving the Portrait of the Duchess of Bedford; similar acknowledgments he also returns to the Right Honourable Robert Peel, for like permission with regard the Portrait of Mrs. Peel; as well as to the Right Honourable William Adam, Lord Chief Commissioner of the Jury Court in Scotland, for the picture of "A Scene at Abbotsford;" and to Godfrey Windus, Esq., for the drawings of Lucy on the Rock, and of the Garden of Boccacio.

To the Artists, both painters and engravers, the Proprietor feels especially obliged for their exertions in maintaining the reputation of the work.

The Editor begs to return his sincere thanks to his contributors, generally; to specify any in particular, would be but an invidious act towards those omitted. (i-v)

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Published @ RC

September 1997