Spanish Women in British Literary Annuals (1823-1830)




Anglo-Spanish relations, British Romanticism, Imagology, Literary annuals, Models of femininity, Romantic Spain, Peninsular War, Spanish Orientalism


This paper explores the representations of Spain, and particularly Spanish women, in five British literary annuals of the late Romantic period (1823-1830): Forget Me Not, The Literary Souvenir, Friendship’s Offering, The Keepsake and The Amulet. Literary annuals were illustrated anthologies of poems, short stories and travelogues which started to be published in Britain in the 1820s and were sold annually as presents for Christmas and New Year. Mostly aimed at a female audience, these annuals were imbued with a spirit of cosmopolitanism, featuring texts about countries and regions from all over the world. Spanish themes were constantly present in the selected literary annuals, where with a few notable exceptions, most female Spanish characters are countermodels of femininity that deviate from the traditional feminine values fostered by these publications and defy the idealised depictions of (British) women appearing in their texts and engravings. These representations of Spanish women, which underline the ethnic and cultural differences between Spain and Britain, are in tune with the romantic image of the country promoted by British writers at the time.


Research for this article was supported by the project “Idea de Andalucía e idea de España en los siglos XVIII-XIX. De la prensa crítica al artículo de costumbres" (Ref. PID2019-110208GB-I00), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.


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How to Cite

Medina Calzada, Sara. 2024. “Spanish Women in British Literary Annuals (1823-1830)”. Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina De Estudios Ingleses, no. 40 (January):63-80.