A Christmas anthology stemming from correspondence in Godfrey Smith's Sunday Times column - old favourites and some surprises but the criterion for selection usually being that it can be read aloud. The range goes from Dickens to O'Henry, from a Christmas Carol to T.S. Eliot.
Part 1 Golden gifts for all: Laurie Lee - "Cider With Rosie"; Dylan Thomas - "A Child's Christmas in Wales"; Thomas Hardy - "Under the Greenwood Tree". Part 2 We don't want your Christmas pudding: George R. Sims, "Christmas Day in the Workhouse"; Billy Bennett - "Christmas Day in the Cookhouse"; Stanley Holloway - "Old Sam's Christmas Pudding"; Edmund Gosse - "Father and Son". Part 3 This most tremendous tale of all: John Betjeman - "Christmas"; Thomas Hardy - "The Oxen"; C. Day Lewis - "The Christmas Tree"; Louis MacNeice - "Christmas Shopping". Part 4 Now one time it comes on Christmas: Willa Cather - "My Antonia"; Truman Capote - "A Christmas Memory"; O. Henry - "The Gift of the Magi"; Damon Runyon - "Dancing Dan's Christmas"; Alistair Cooke - "Christmas in Vermont". Part 5 Indeed, our fathers were very wise: Hilaire Belloc - "A Remaining Christmas"; Harold Macmillan - "Christmas at Chatsworth"; Washington Irving - "The Christmas Dinner". Part 5 The frailty of Father Balaguere: Lawrence Durrell - "Monsieur"; George du Maurier - "Trilby"; Alphonse Daudet - "The Three Low Masses". Part 6 A partridge in a pear tree: "The Twelve Days of Christmas"; Phyllis McGinley - "All the Days of Christmas"; John Julius Norwich - "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Part 7 I have acquired some nice Christmas loot: Noel Coward - "Diary for Christmas day 1955"; George Bernard Shaw - "An Atrocious Institution"; George Orwell - "It is a Debauch"; Kingsley Amis - "Ending Up". Part 8 I sing of a maiden: William Shakespeare - "Hamlet, I, i"; Nicholas Breton - "A Christmas Song"; Anon, 15th century - "I Sing of a Maiden"; Robert Herrick - "A Christmas Carol"; Rudyard Kipling - "Christmas in India"; Algernon Swinburne - "Three Damsels in the Queen's Chamber". Part 9 Where was the ecstasy?: George Eliot, "The Mill on the Floss"; D.H. Lawrence - "The Rainbow"; Sue Townsend - "The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole". Part 10 Everyone suddenly burst out singing: Malcolm Brown and Shirley Seaton - "Christmas Truce"; Norman Longmate (ed) - "How We Lived". Part contents.
The Christmas Reader by
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