Thursday, November 30, 2017

Happy Bookgiving

This classic, as seen in a shop window in Dublin a couple of years ago, would make a great gift. I should have gone in and purchased it, but alas I was trying to travel light and passed up the chance. Looks like amazon has a few vintage copies as well as a re-released edition.


These quaint old - American holiday books,
in reprinted editions make great gifts:

"There is a spell on southern Salem [NC], the spell not of a dead past but of a living one, constantly revitalized, so that as one walks these uneven red-brick pavements, one is haunted by memories of long-past Christmases, thoughts of those far times, when in secrecy and fear, the Hidden Seed kept its feast of candles and of anthems, thoughts of happier festivals in Saxony where young Count Zinzendorf offered the heretics the refuge city of Herrnhut, thoughts of brave long-ago love-feasts right here, when a tiny, intrepid band of colonists sang its Christmas chorales in the midst of endless miles of wilderness, while wolves nosed and howled at the cabin door. Along with these Moravian memories come thronging recollections of one's own childhood Christmases in all their unforgotten wizardry, so that here in Christmas Salem, I seem to be walking again the midnight aisle which leads through a great wood of fir trees looming black beneath high stars." ~Winifred Kirkland



And for the biblio - anglo - philes on your list:

Book ~ Charlecote Park
An almost idyllic reminiscence of growing up
in the Elizabethan / Victorian grandeur of Charlecote Park,
as told by the last family of children to live there:
"One by one the children would grow old enough to being dining regularly with their parents in the evening. None of them would enjoy it. All this lay ahead. But the children knew that the summer holidays just past were probably the last of a kind. . . . So very much was always expected of the children of the house . . . they knew they were growing up because of the childhood memories that seemed to be accumulating behind them. When they were together, they quite often began sentences with, 'Do you remember--?' " (63, 84, 97).
Their childhood innocence is overtaken by a
growing awareness of gender and social inequity,
the coming of World War I, and the fruitless resistance
to the inevitable arrival of the 20th Century:
"The last carriage left; the park gates were shut. A great silence wrapped Charlecote Hall again; the whole place seemed to sink into sleep, as the sun went down. Even the cooing of pigeons and the occasional notes of other birds had ceased. Only the gentle sound of the River Avon continued. It was difficult to believe that the world outside this world was not also at peace" (111).
". . . The house remembers . . . " (126).

Matching Gift Tin
Charlecote Gatehouse

Yes, I do in fact own one of these tins, purchased as a souvenir
in 1979, when I visited Charlecote on my first trip to England.

[Another old house book by Philippa Pearce ~ Tom's Midnight Garden]