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5.0 out of 5 starsLovely Collectable Christmas Book
Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2018
Wonderful book! Filled with the delightful details of Christmas past in England. I loved the old recipes: "To make Sack Posset" and "Christmas Plum Pudding". There are stories and poetry that will put you in the mood for Christmas from Advent to Epiphany. I also loved "Princess Margaret's Christmas Present List" written by Princess Elizabeth to help her sister send thank-you letters. I am putting this volume on the bookshelf with my Christmas Collectable Editions of Dickens and other authors. It makes a nice gift for an older child or any adult who loves to read about Christmas past.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 26, 2018
The indefatigable John Julius Norwich did a great job drawing together and arranging such a wide range of writings about English Christmases. A potentially narrow and chauvanistic subject is enriched by the enormous historical, literary and social range on offer here mixing both expected and popular CHristmas offerings (Betjeman, Dickens, Chesterton) with the unusual (Thackeray's review in praise of Dickens' Christmas Carol, a charming piece from The Spectator, Swift) while humour (Mitford, Coward, Milne) is balanced by the sobering seriousness of varied accounts of the First World War's first Christmas. Best of all (perhaps) is Norwich's own response to "The Twelve Days of Christmas" which ends the generous anthology. We used the readings mixed with some of the carols referred to as a basis for a Christmas get-together and we all enjoyed sharing the readings. Such national celebrations are not incompatible with participation in a larger world so perhaps we now need a European Christmas or even Christmas round the World - though, alas, John Julius Norwich is no longer available for such selections.