Wednesday, 23 December 2009

On this day...

'A Visit from St. Nicholas', more commonly referred to as 'Twas the Night Before Christmas', was published anonymously in 1823. The poem is often thought of as the source for the Western traditional image of Christmas; including the appearance of Santa himself - 'His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!' - and the names of all his reindeer. Yet despite the poem's modern popularity, the authorship is still a matter under question. More than twenty years later, it was claimed by and attributed to Clement C. Moore, and was included in an 1844 anthology of his works. However, in recent times, there has emerged those who doubt his authorship, and believe that the poem was the work of Henry Livingston Jr.; a relative of Moore's wife. Several points have been made as evidence for the theory, one of which is that both the metre and style of the poem are consistent with Livingston's other works. The poem remains a frequently referenced work and has inspired numerous adaptations and parodies.

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