Phillips Library Advent Calendar, December 13

Ring Out Wild Bells, By Alfred Tennyson

Ring Out Wild Bells, By Alfred Tennyson, 1850

The holiday season is one of reflection, a time when many reflect on events of the past and identify hopes for the future.  Alfred Tennyson’s poem, Ring Out, Wild Bells, was written in 1833 in response to the death of a special friend and mentor, Arthur Hallam.   The poem was not published until 1850 when Tennyson included it in a collection of poems entitled, In Memoriam, after which he became Britain’s Poet Laureate. Read more

Phillips Library Advent Calendar, December 12

Cover, A Dog of Flanders: A Christmas Story, 1882

Cover, A Dog of Flanders: A Christmas Story, 1892

Hans Christian Anderson’s A Little Match Girl, published in 1845, is not a typical holiday story, in that the main character dies on New Year’s Eve.  Similarly, A Dog of Flanders: A Christmas Story, does not have a standard happy ending.  Considered one of the earliest stories to use dogs as a central character, Patrasche, yellow of hide, large of head and limb, with wolf-like ears that stood erect, is rescued by Nello and his grandfather when he is found beaten and close to death.  Read more

Phillips Library Advent Calendar, December 11

Cover and Title Page, The Snow Image and Other Twice Told Tales, 1899

Cover and Title Page, The Snow Image and Other Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1899, Inscribed as a Christmas Gift in 1900

Hawthorne published two volumes of Twice-Told Tales, one in 1837 and the second in 1842.  In the preface to this book he writes that the tales are new and had not previously appeared in book form.  The story of interest for this post is The Snow Image:  A Childish Miracle, one of Hawthorne’s few stories that deal with fantasy and the creation of an imaginary person. Read more