Phillips Library Advent Calendar, December 20

Cover, Snow-Bound, A Winter Idyl by John Greenleaf Whittier

Cover, Snow-Bound, A Winter Idyl by John Greenleaf Whittier

Whittier’s poem chronicles a New England family and how they adapt to a snowstorm that roared on for three days.  Inspired by his family home, which today serves as a museum to the abolitionist Quaker, Whittier originally wrote this poem for his niece, Elizabeth.  The poem is dedicated To the memory of the household it describes.  First published in book length in 1866, Snow-Bound, A Winter Idyl became Whittier’s most popular poem.  The edition depicted above was inscribed as a Christmas present to Hattie Fowler by her father, Samuel, in 1868. Read more

Phillips Library Advent Calendar, December 19

Dedication Page, The Horn of Plenty of Home Poems and Pictures

Dedication Page, The Horn of Plenty of Home Poems and Pictures, Compiled by William F. Gill

Initially, it was the book’s blue binding that caught my eye while scanning the shelves.  An avid Louisa May Alcott fan, I knew the dedication page shown above needed to be shared with others.  The authors in this compilation include Alcott, Kate Tannatt Woods, Jean Ingelow, Dora Greenwell, Amelia B. Edwards, and others.  Subjects of the poems include ghosts, a dog’s Christmas dinner, the Queen of Hearts, gardens, snowmen, and sugar plums. Read more

Phillips Library Advent Calendar, December 18

Cover, Christmas In The Olden Time by Sir Walter Scott, 1887

Cover, Christmas In The Olden Time by Sir Walter Scott, 1887

Christmas in The Olden Time, by Sir Walter Scott, was extracted from the introduction to the sixth canto of Scott’s epic poem, Marmion, about the Battle of Flodden Field (1513), during which the Scottish army fought the English.  Such introductions did not follow the subject of a canto, but provided respite for Scott and the option to write additional poetry reflecting his thoughts while composing the longer poem; this introduction reflects on times spent at Mertoun House, home to Scott’s kinsmen in Scotland. Read more