Place and Imprint: London: Printed for F. and C. Rivington, 1802-1807.
Edition: The 1801, 02 & 05 volumes are second editions; the 1803-04 volumes are first editions.
Bibliographical References: Lowndes, page 1901; NCBEL III, 1873; Brewer, Leigh Hunt, pages 15-16; ODNB.
Condition: Light foxing and smudges; very good copies.
Book ID: 28325
Physical Description5 vols, 8vo, modern brown quarter calf period style, marbled paper boards, black morocco spine labels, gilt lettering.
CommentsIn 1801 Richard Alfred Davenport (1776-1852), an aspiring poet and energetic author, began independently issuing an annual compendium of contemporary English poetry. Davenport believed that England lacked an annual, like the French Almanach des Muses, that reflected the depth and strength of its poets. He solicited the help of Sir Egerton Brydges, Thomas Park and Anna Seward, among others, for obtaining contributions. The initial volume was a work of almost 500 pages, containing hundreds of poems, organized by Original Poetry (including sections dedicated to sonnets), Ancient Poetry (the contribution of Brydges), Fugitive Poetry, Criticism, a Catalogue of Poetry and Poetical Biography. The annual volumes continued for five years, though not exactly on schedule; following the fifth volume it was altered to being issued biennially for the final three volumes, making eight total, at which time it ceased publication. Among the contributors to these first five volumes are Leigh Hunt (twelve poems), Anna Seward (about 25 poems), Brydges, Anna Maria Porter, Charlotte Smith, Thomas Campbell, Erasmus Darwin, William Hayley, Amelia Opie, Robert Bloomfield, Thomas Park, M. G. Lewis, and many minor but interesting poets whose works may have otherwise eluded attention. Davenport was an enigmatic and eccentric character who was responsible for several other interesting works. His wife was novelist Selima Davenport.