Category:The Comic Offering, or Ladies' Melange of Literary Mirth
From Victorian Literature
Title: The Comic Offering, or Ladies’ Melange of Literary Mirth
Editor: Louisa Henrietta Sheridan
Publisher: Smith, Elder and Co.
The Comic Offering, published annually from 1831 to 1835, led a short but significant life. As the first comic annual in Britain written for women and written, edited, and illustrated by a woman, The Comic Offering—also known as Ladies’ Melange of Literary Mirth—gives valuable insight into the nature of humor for Victorian ladies. Editor Louisa H. Sheridan, who inscribed each volume to “the Ladies of Great Britain,” wrote that she strove to entertain her audience while maintaining “a rigorous adherence to the principles of propriety and sound morality”. Thus, as Tamara L. Hunt notes, The Comic Offering was appropriate as “a type of gift book intended to be given to family and friends as a Christmas or New Years’ present.”
The content of the annual is limited to short poems and short stories that wittily explore common themes of the Victorian era: a father attempting to get his lazy son a coveted position with a Lord, a spinster who laments her six failed engagements, a young woman who makes a large purchase but can’t find her purse when she has to pay, and so on. Although the 1831 edition was entirely written by Sheridan, the later volumes also include writings from well-known authors of the time, making the journal a fascinating collection of “women’s humor” from both men and women in Victorian England.
- ↑ Tamara L. Hunt, “Louisa Henrietta Sheridan’s Comic Offering and the Critics: Gender and Humor in the Early Victorian Era,” Victorian Periodicals Review 29 (1996): 95, Print.
- ↑ Louisa H. Sheridan, Preface, The Comic Offering, Ed. Louisa H. Sheridan, Vol. 2, London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1832, vii, Print.
- ↑ Hunt 96.
Submitted by: Peterson, Christie: section 1, Fall 2007