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MCLS Booklists

Christmas in Britain
December 2008

Christmas in Britain

Take a journey to Old England to get a glimpse of one thousand years of Christmas traditions. You won't be disappointed by this delightful look at how Christmas is celebrated in Britain and Yuletide London. The charm of Charles Dickens, Victorian England, Boxing Day, Harrods Department Store, and much more is all brought to life in this wonderful look at Christmas in London and the picturesque English countryside. The illustrations of early Victorian Christmas cards and charming fireside-setting photography in this book all add to the special magic we imagine of Christmases of yesteryear.

Each Christmas Around the World book includes full narratives explaining the customs of the region covered, photography and illustrations, special sections of native songs, recipes and fun-to-do crafts.

The English Year: a month-by-month guide to the nation’s customs and festivals, from May Day to Mischief Night
Roud, Stephen

The English Year is a lavishly illustrated month-by-month, day-by-day guide to all the customs and festivals of England, from the national celebrations to herald the New Year down to small local traditions such as the Minehead Hobby Horse or Duck Racing in Oxfordshire. If you want to know where you can get free bread and beer on any day of the year; if you want to know where Mayday comes from or why you should protect yourself on Mischief Night; or why the English go in for all kinds of arcane celebrations but can't be bothered with St George's Day – then this is the book for you.

Steve Roud has been researching British folklore for over thirty years. He is the joint author of the Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore and the author of The Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland, winner of the 2004 Katharine Briggs Folklore. He lives in Sussex.

The Man Who Invented Christmas : how Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol Rescued his Career and Revived our Holiday Spirits
Standiford, Les

As uplifting as the tale of Scrooge itself, this is the story of how one writer and one book revived the signal holiday of the Western world. Just before Christmas in 1843, a debt-ridden and dispirited Charles Dickens wrote a small book he hoped would keep his creditors at bay. His publisher turned it down, so Dickens used what little money he had to put out A Christmas Carol himself. He worried it might be the end of his career as a novelist. The book immediately caused a sensation. And it breathed new life into a holiday that had fallen into disfavor, undermined by lingering Puritanism and the cold modernity of the Industrial Revolution. It was a harsh and dreary age, in desperate need of spiritual renewal, ready to embrace a book that ended with blessings for one and all. With warmth, wit, and an infusion of Christmas cheer, Les Standiford whisks us back to Victorian England, its most beloved storyteller, and the birth of the Christmas we know best. The Man Who Invented Christmas is a rich and satisfying read for Scrooges and sentimentalists alike.

Additional Information
Author Website

  Victorian Christmas Crafts : a Treasury of Gifts, Ornaments, and other Holiday Specialties to Prepare
Bruno, Barbara

Christmas in the Victorian Age was the festive highlight of the season—a celebration culminating weeks of ingenious planning and convivial preparation.  Now you can recapture all the charm and tradition of a made-at-home Victorian Christmas with this book dedicated to the holiday crafts of yesteryear: homemade gifts of paper, paste, and calico, garlands, bows, and evergreens for decking the halls, trimmings and trinkets to ornament the Christmas tree; and tempting delicacies to please revelers’ palates during this special season. You and your family can re-create the delightful and decorative splendor of an old-fashioned Victorian yuletide.

300 Ways to Make the Best Christmas Ever! : Decorations, Carols, Crafts & Recipes for Every Kind of Christmas Tradition Tribble, Mimi

Stories to inspire, crafts to decorate the home, gingerbread houses of all sorts to bake, and drinks to bring cheer to all who come by: these are just some of the ways to make Christmas very, very merry, and more than 500 of them are beautifully collected right here. How will you celebrate? Perhaps the traditional American style seems most appealing: then make a Tole Painted Nativity, whip up some delicious Hot Buttered Rum, and read The Night Before Christmas aloud. For a classic Victorian holiday, sing Deck the Halls, place a charming Violin and Cherub wreath on the door, and sip some mulled wine. Or choose the Country, Southwestern (a little salsa verde, anyone?), International, or fun-filled Not-Quite-Grown-Up style.

Library Journal October 15, 2004
Clever ideas for holiday crafts are always welcome at this time of year…Continuing the Christmas feeling, 300 Ways is a collection of crafts, songs, and recipes from nine of Sterling's previous titles, including Christmas Naturals and A Crafter's Book of Santas. The contents are similar to Natasha Tabori Fried and Lena Tabori's The Christmas Almanac and include wreaths and more gingerbread buildings. Both books are good for Christmas crafts collections needing new material.

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens ; illustrated by P.J. Lynch

A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future. In this unabridged version of the original 1843 edition, the classic tale is illustrated with full-color paintings and black-and-white drawings that brilliantly recapture an era and bring Dickens's characters vividly to life.

Additional Information

Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England in 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s.

His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities.
A Christmas Dinner
Dickens, Charles

Charles Dickens penned this sketch in December, 1835 as his conception of an ideal Yuletide gathering. Dickens, who may have invented the modern notion of Christmas, had lively ideas about what a family Christmas should be---down to how preparations should be shared, what dainties might be served and what should be part of a Christmas Day Feast. This book is enriched with the Christmas menus devised and recipes (some from the Dickens household) adapted for contemporary cooks by distinguished culinary historian, Alice Ross, as well as with an introduction by Dickens' most important living biographer and prize-winning novelist, Peter Ackroyd. Also included are 16 original and historically accurate paintings by the talented young artist, Sharon Stein.

A Wallflower Christmas
Kleypas, Lisa

Arriving in London for his arranged marriage, uncivilized American rake Rafe Bowman receives lessons in London etiquette and gentlemanly behavior from four former Wallflowers during the holiday season, an effort that is complicated by the bride's unexpected ways.

Also available in: Audiobook on CD
Additional Info
Author Website

A Christmas Grace
Perry, Anne

When the season brings a chill, nothing warms the heart or elevates the spirits like a new novel by Anne Perry, whom the Chicago Sun-Times calls the most adroit sleight-of-hand practitioner since Agatha Christie. Perry’s gifts are on full display in A Christmas Grace, a hope-filled tale of forgiveness that is rich with mystery and intrigue. With Christmas just around the corner, Thomas Pitt’s sister-in-law, Emily Radley, is suddenly called from London to be with her dying aunt. Leaving her husband and two children behind, Emily makes the long journey to an all-but-forgotten town in the county of Connemara, on the western coast of Ireland. She soon discovers that a tragic legacy haunts the once closeknit community. Violent storms ravage the coast and keep alive painful memories of an unsolved murder and unsettling fears that a killer may still live among the residents of the lonely Irish town. Determined to lighten her aunt’s heart and help the troubled community, Emily sets out to unmask the culprit. When a lone shipwreck survivor washes up onshore, he brings with him not only the key to solving the terrible crime but the opportunity for the townspeople to make peace with the past and with one another.

Also available in: Large Print
Additional Info
Author Website




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