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.
©2013 The British Library Board (P)2013 The British Library Board
"[a] beautifully presented cornucopia" (Rachel Redford, The Oldie)
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"Wonderful Christmas stories and excerpts!"
This is a wonderful Christmas story collection! I have already listened to it several times. AND BOTH readers are fabulous. I highly recommend it. It will really raise your Christmas spirits to new heights. I have found several other Christmas story collections on Audible, and plan to buy several of them.
"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.
The content is secondary to the performance of the narrators. I wish a few seconds had been placed between the individual content items.
"Beautiful collection of "The Best of Christmas""
Excellent British narrators make this vast collection of Christmas stories and poems a pleasure to listen to and go back to each holiday season. I really enjoyed the stories read with the British emphasis on these English classics.
It would have been nice to have a break between chapters. Some stories were hard to follow and seemed to be read too fast.
"Excellent short stories and excerpts"
This is delightful. I was laid up at home on Christmas and bought this for Simon Callow's wonderful voice, he's a longtime favorite actor. Chapters listed by name instead of 40 numbers can be found by hitting "Amazon Reviews". Putting "'Twas the night before Christmas" first was a stroke of genius as that is the first go-to from my childhood. Others have mentioned the lack of gaps between story excerpts which is particularly awful for the Christmastime war stories. I either stopped the play when a new story began and/or watched the min. remaining countdown. Looks like this is Simon's only Audible presentation, hope he does many more. Juliet Stevenson is equally good.
this was a great joy to my family and a refreshed enthusiasm for the classics
"cornucopia of British Literture"
pay particular attention to the excerpts from poetry which were Christmas oriented or themed. very comfortable and in places hearth-warming :)
"Great voices terrible sound levels"
As others have said; please rebalance the sound levels for the whole recording. Add a few seconds quiet between the excellently read performances. Once fixed reissue to all of us!!
"sad and cheerful at the same time"
the collection of writings is at times funny and silly and at other moments cold and sad. it reminds me of the Christmas season is in real life, filled with both joy and sorrow. I enjoyed this much.
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