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Victorian Christmas

Victorian Christmas

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“We wish you a merry Christmas! A merry Christmas! how our hearts throb at the words, and still the greeting passes from lip to lip, from soul to soul, till the whole wide world echoes and re-echoes the sound, and earth’s many voices seem all united in one loud universal chorus.”

The British Library’s 19th Century Christmas Collection contains over 75 titles to entertain and bring cheer to the holiday season. There is truly something to delight everyone:
• Gift books like, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, full of lovely Victorian Christmas illustrations
• Poems and stories by much-loved writers such as Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge
• Comic pantomimes and plays written especially for Christmas
• Songbooks of traditional Christmas carols written in English, Latin, and French

Many of the story collections were published with the intention that they be read out loud around the Christmas fire. These include a surprising and unexpectedly large number of detective stories, murder mysteries, ghost stories, and romances with titles like “Mystery of a Moated Grange,” “The Crime of a Christmas Toy,” “A Russian Ghost Story,” “The Japanese Bogie Man,” and “Bread and Cheese and Kisses.” The books in this collection come not just from Britain but from America, Canada, Australia, and India as well. The Christmas Collection is a delightful addition to a joyful season—one that promises to “make you soundly merry at this festive time!”

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