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10 November 2017: Festive Works...

 With Christmas fast approaching, we have had a look at some of the festive books in our library. We are constantly adding new works to our collection, and have something for every interest and specialism. Should you be after some advice or help, either for a gift or for yourself, please do not hesitate to get in touch and one of our experts will be able to assist you. 


We also offer free gift wrapping, just let us know in the special instructions when completing your purchase.

  

1914 Charles Dickens in Chancery E T Jaques Christmas Carol Court Proceedings

 

 

'A Christmas Carol' is without a doubt one of the most well-known festive books, and famously tells the transformative story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who, after visits from a number of ghosts, transforms into a kinder, gentler man. The work was Dickens’s fourth Christmas story, and was written at a time when Britain was examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past, such as the singing of Christmas carols, whilst engaging with new traditions such as the housing of Christmas trees. Upon publication, the work was hugely successful and sold out on Christmas Eve, just five days after its initial release. However, in 1844 after thirteen editions of the work had been legitimately published, the work was illicitly copied. Dickens took legal action against the publishers with his frustrating experiences during the trial said to be one of the influences for his writing of 'Bleak House', a work which sets out to attack the Chancery legal system.

The volume in our library is the account of the court case against the five defendants responsible for the pirating of 'A Christmas Carol'. The work was written by a solicitor of the Supreme Court, and is a scarce and extremely interesting account of literary and social history.

 

2009 The Lion the Unicorn and Me by Jeanette Winterson Illustrated First Edition

 

 

Jeanette Winterson is an award winning author best known for her semi-autobiographical work ‘Oranges are not the Only Fruit', which tells the story of a teenage girl and her personal discovery and rebellion against her religious upbringing. Her debut novel was met with much acclaim, winning the Whitbread Prize for a First Novel in 1985. Winterson’s subsequent novels cover similar themes of gender politics and identity, with many adapted into film and television.

Alongside these works, Winterson has written a number of successful children’s works, including the seasonal work ‘The Lion, The Unicorn and Me’. The story is a whimsical retelling of how a donkey was chosen to carry Mary in the famous biblical Christmas narrative, all from the perspective of the donkey. The work is beautifully illustrated throughout by Rosalind MacCurrach, with additional metallic detail. The copy of the work in our library is an excellent example of the first edition in lovely condition, and would make a wonderful Christmas gift.

 

1894 Old Christmas From The Sketch Book of Washington Irving Illustrated Reprint

 

 

'The Sketch Book' is a collection of thirty four essays and short stories by Washington Irving, first published serially throughout 1819 and 1820. The work includes two of his best known stories, 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' and 'Rip Van Winkle'. It also marks the first use of his pseudonym Geoffrey Crayon, which he would continue to employ throughout his literary career. 'The Sketch Book' is regarded as one of the leading works in helping to advance the reputation of American writers with an international audience.

 'Old Christmas' contains a number of the festive short stories from 'The Sketch Book', specifically based around the Christmas celebrations at Bracebridge Hall. The work also contains many illustrations and drawings by the well-known illustrator Randolph Caldecott. Caldecott was a highly influential illustrator in the nineteenth century, and was responsible for a number of sought after works including 'The Diverting History of John Gilpin', and contributed to periodicals such as 'Punch' and the 'Illustrated London News'. Two books illustrated by him were also published every Christmas for eight years. The charming edition in our collection was published in 1894, and is bound in green cloth with lovely gilt detail to the boards. 

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