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By John Julius Norwich

'If i'll paintings my will,' stated Scrooge indignantly, 'Every fool who is going approximately with "Merry Christmas" on his lips, could be boiled along with his personal pudding, and buried with a stake of holly via his heart.'

This yr pass carol-singing within the Cotswolds with Laurie Lee or attend church with a grumpy Samuel Pepys. Make plum puddings for bemused French villagers with Elizabeth David; move current purchasing with Virginia Woolf or devour some distance an excessive amount of with Agatha Christie. rejoice Christmas at Chatsworth, within the workhouse or marooned within the ice with Shackleton ...

For the final forty-five years, the coming of John Julius Norwich's most recent Christmas Cracker has develop into as crucial part of the Christmas adventure as holly and mistletoe. In An English Christmas the mythical renowned historian has eventually accumulated all of the most sensible writing approximately this strangest and such a lot memorable time of yr into one booklet and his exceptional eye for a narrative is obvious on each page.

Vividly evoking the entire good stuff concerning the festive season, this unforeseen anthology is simply as wonderful approximately its darker facets. Eight-year-old Princess Margaret's thank-you record jostles with relocating letters domestic from the trenches. Sherlock Holmes solves his trickiest case. George Orwell writes approximately indigestion; Jane Austen approximately reluctant socialising and Thomas Hardy concerning the outdated folks trust that each one animals kneel at nighttime on 24 December. There are ghost tales, video games and weird recipes. Diary-entries, recipes and letters sit down along poems and brief tales. An English Christmas might convert any Scrooge into an fast enthusiast.

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