A Literary Christmas

An Anthology [Book]

The British Library

The British Library

Distributed for British Library

160 pages | 30 halftones | 6 x 8 1/2
Cloth $19.95 ISBN: 9780712309684 Published October 2013 For sale in North and South America only
For as long as Christmas has been celebrated, poets and writers have sought to explore every aspect of it, from the story of the nativity to the festive traditions families worldwide have established over the centuries. And such works have forever changed the way we think about the holiday. Where would Christmas be today without Ebenezer Scrooge or “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”?  
           
A Literary Christmas is a seasonal compendium that collects poems, short stories, and prose by some of the greatest poets and writers in the English language. Like Charles Dickens’s Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, the selections featured here are representative of times old and new. Readers will enjoy a convivial Christmas Day with Samuel Pepys, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, and Nancy Mitford; venture out into the snow in the company of Jane Austen, Henry James, and Charles Dickens’s ever-popular Mr. Pickwick; and warm up by the fire with the seasonal tales of Dylan Thomas, Kenneth Grahame, and Oscar Wilde. As a companion to the book, A Literary Christmas is also being released as a two-CD set, featuring readings of many of the same poems and prose extracts from the book.
             
An entertaining and instructive way to survey great literature, A Literary Christmas is the perfect gift for anyone seeking to start their own literary Christmas traditions.
Washington Post
“For those who like their mistletoe with a cultural pedigree, the British Library has compiled bite-size Christmas excerpts from works of great literature.”
Contents

A.  BEFORE CHRISTMAS
1.   Clement Clarke Moore: The Night Before Christmas
2.   Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol [extract]
3.   Arnold Bennett: The Feast of St Friend [extract]
4.   Laurie Lee: Cider with Rosie [extract]
5.   William Wordsworth: Minstrels
6.   Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights [extract]
7.   Thomas Hardy: The Oxen
8.   Edward Thomas: The Gypsy
9.   D H Lawrence: Sons and Lovers [extract]
10. Saki: Bertie’s Christmas Eve

B.  THE NATIVITY
11. Christina Rossetti: A Christmas Carol
12. John Milton: On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity
13. John Donne: Nativity
14. William Blake: A Cradle Song
15. Elizabeth Barrett Browning: The Holy Night
16. G K Chesterton: A Christmas Carol

C.  AT CHRISTMAS
17. Samuel Pepys: Diary. 25 December 1662
18. Anne Bronte: Music on Christmas Morning
19. Anthony Trollope: Orley Farm [extract]
20. Robert Louis Stevenson: Christmas at Sea
21. George Eliot: The Mill on the Floss [extract]
22. Thomas Haynes Bayley: The Mistletoe Bough
23. Rudyard Kipling: Christmas in India
24. Nancy Mitford: Christmas Pudding [extract]

D.  CHRISTMAS FOOD AND DRINK
25. Washington Irving: Christmas Dinner [extract]
26. Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol [extract]
27. Thomas Tusser: Christmas Cheer
28. Theodore Watts-Dunton: Wassail Chorus at the Mermaid      Tavern
29. Benjamin Zephaniah: Talking Turkeys
30. P G Wodehouse: Another Christmas Carol

E.  CHRISTMAS AT WAR
31. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Christmas bells
32. Thomas Hardy: A Christmas Ghost-story
33. Wilfred Owen: Winter Song
34. Cyril Winterbotham: Christmas Prayer [From the Trenches]
35. G K Chesterton: The Truce of Christmas
36. W H Davies: The Holly on the wall

F.  A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS
37. Dylan Thomas: A Child’s Christmas in Wales [extract]
38. Kenneth Grahame: Wind in the Willows [extract]
39. Louisa May Alcott: Little Women [extract]
40. Richard Middleton: The Carol of the poor children
41. George Mackay Brown: The lost boy

F.  CHRISTMAS ICE AND SNOW
42. John Evelyn: Diary [extract]
43. John Gay: Trivia [extract]
44. Henry James: English Hours [extract]
45. William Shakespeare: As You Like It [extract]
46. Jane Austen: Emma [extracts]
47. William Makepeace Thackeray: The Mahogany Tree
48. Charles Dickens: Pickwick Papers [extract]

G.  NEW YEAR
49. Percy Bysshe Shelley: Dirge for the Year
50. A E Housman: New Year’s Eve
51. Thomas Hood: Christmas Holidays
52. Alfred Tennyson: Ring out, wild bells
53. Robert Herrick: Ceremony upon Candlemas Eve
54. Robert Burns: Auld Lang Syne

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