Read by Juliet Stevenson and Simon Callow, A Literary Christmas is a seasonal anthology that collects together poems, short stories, and prose extracts by some of the greatest poets and writers in the English language.
Like Charles Dickens’ ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, they are representative of times old and new - from John Donne’s Elizabethan hymn over the baby Jesus to Rudyard Kipling’s "Christmas in India", from Thomas Tusser counting the cost of a Tudor feast to Laurie Lee’s "Cider with Rosie".
Enjoy a convivial Christmas Day as described by Samuel Pepys, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, or Nancy Mitford. Venture out into the snow in the company of Jane Austen, Henry James, and Dickens’ ever-popular Mr Pickwick. Entertain the children with the seasonal tales of Dylan Thomas, Kenneth Grahame, Louisa May Alcott, and George Mackay Brown.
"[a] beautifully presented cornucopia" (Rachel Redford, The Oldie)
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Marvelous, with one very avoidable flaw
Yes, it's a cozy and thoroughly enjoyable recording, with two of England's finest actor voices.
Simon Callow's reading of the passage describing the Christmas Eve ball in Fezziwig's warehouse absolutely brims with enthusiasm and perfectly brings to life all of Dickens' descriptive powers.
The right voice brings out all the humor or pathos or excitement that the author intended.
For some reason, there is NO pause between selections. Three seconds to allow the sound of the previous story to fade in your mind's ear, and anticipate the next story, would have earned this an overall 5 stars instead of 4.
Wonderful Christmas stories and excerpts!
- Puppy Cat