Festive cheer turns to maddening fear in this new collection of seasonal hauntings, presenting the best Christmas ghost stories from the 1850s to the 1960s. The traditional trappings of the holiday are turned upside down as restless spirits disrupt the merry games of the living, Christmas trees teem with spiteful pagan presences and the Devil himself treads the boards at the village pantomime.

As the cold night of winter closes in and the glow of the hearth begins to flicker and fade, the … More

Born OTD in 1955, poet and playwright, Carol Ann Duffy. She is a professor of contemporary poetry & was the first woman, the first Scottish-born poet, and the first LGBT poet to hold the position. Her poems address issues such as oppression, gender, and violence in an accessible language that has made them popular in schools.

Carol Ann Duffy’s new Christmas poem, Frost Fair is inspired by the fairs held on the River Thames in London … More

First published OTD in 1843, Charles Dickens’, ‘A Christmas Carol’. Throughout his life, Dickens was a champion of the poor and oppressed, as well as a critic of aristocratic and high-Church elitism. Written when Dickens was 31, this tale of ghosts and greed so thrilled him that he literally wept and laughed over it. The protagonist, Scrooge, is an oppressing, greedy, lover of money—a cold, wretched shell of a man who has lost all sense of kindness. Of all the characters in the Dickens gallery, the old miser is the most memorable representation of that which Dickens hated in individuals and society.

P.J. Lynch’s detailed and atmospheric artwork for this lavish, unabridged edition conjures up Dickensian London and its inhabitants with breathtaking … More

It is a snowy London day in The Great Winter of 1683. We follow our bold narrator as she explores `the town on the Thames’, a thousand tents and dancing fires lit on the frozen water with jubilant residents and lively festive revelry. All is a fete upon the ice as she sees jugglers, dancing bears, palm readers and even a merry wedding. Her journey leads her to meet many new companions with whom to spend a starry night upon the river, where they sleep with no inkling of who will be looking down on them in the morning light . . .

Carol Ann Duffy’s new Christmas poem, Frost Fair is inspired by the fairs held on the River Thames in London … More

Naturalist Stephen Moss digs beneath the surface of some of our most popular Christmas carols in an ornithological celebration of the Festive Season. Using the structure of the carol as a jumping off point, he explores the place of twelve fascinating British birds in our history, culture and landscape. Some of the birds are obvious, there’s the swan and of course the partridge.

Other chapters are loose interpretations of a verse: for drummers drumming he delves into the woodpecker’s distinctive drumming tap. Woodpeckers, … More