The Folio Society Christmas Collections

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The Folio Society Christmas Collection

The first special Christmas story was released by the Folio Society as a holiday greeting back in 1957. So it’s fitting that this story was included in the first “Folio Christmas Book” produced for members in 2000…

Video Review

Folio Christmas Book 2000
The Folio Christmas Book

Publication: 2000 (OOP)
Where to buy:The Folio Christmas Book @ Abes

About the book: The first special Christmas publication by the Folio Society was the story “Christmas Eve at Bracebridge Hall” by Washington Irving, released as a Christmas greeting back in 1957. So it is fitting that this story was also included in the first of their special Christmas collections released in 2000, titled ‘The Folio Christmas Book’. This anthology contains 23 seasonal stories and 10 poems, with 16 colour plates by a variety of different artists, as well as several black and white sketches.

Illustrators include: Peter Brookes, Posy Simmonds, Roland Pym, John Vernon Lord, Claire Mackie, Quentin Blake, Sara Fanelli, Paula Rego, David Eccles, Neil Packer, John Lawrence, Glynn Boyd Harte, Peter Bailey, Rod Waters and Francis Mosley.

Contents include:

1. A Child’s Christmas in Wales – Dylan Thomas
2. ‘A week to Christmas’ from Autumn Journal – Louis MacNeice
3. The Christmas Tree and the Wedding – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
4. Christmas Eve at Bracebridge Hall – Washington Irving
5. Christmas Giftmanship – Stephen Potter
6. Nutcracker and Mouse King – E.T.A. Hoffman
7. The Three Low Masses – Alphonse Daudet
8. The Night Before Christmas – Clement C. Moore
9. Old Folks’ Christmas – Ring Lardner
10. Another Christmas Poem – Wendy Cope
11. Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
12. ‘The minstrels played their Christmas tune’ – William Wordsworth
13. The Bear and the Skrattel – The Brothers Grimm
14. A Flat Country Christmas – Angus Wilson
15. December: Christmass – John Clare
16. Christmas Storms and Sunshine – Elizabeth Gaskell
17. The Fir-Tree – Hans Christian Andersen
18. Old Sam’s Christmas Pudding – Marriott Edgar
19. Palm Beach Santa Claus – Damon Runyon
20. Three Gifts – Alan Wykes
21. A Christmas Carol – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
22. The Last Room at the Inn – John Connell
23. The Second Shepherds’ Play from The Wakefield Mystery Plays
24. Paddington’s Christmas – Michael Bond
25. My Christmas Carol – Budd Schulberg
26. A Christmas Croak – Robert B. Brough
27. The Mortals in the House – Charles Dickens (from The Haunted House)
28. The Ghost in the Double Room – George Augustus Sala (from The Haunted House)
29. The Ghost in the Cupboard Room – Wilkie Collins (from The Haunted House)
30. The White Chapel – Jules Lemaitre
31. A Correspondence – Richard Steele
32. Master Perez the Organist – Gustavo Adolfo Becquer
33. Sailor’s Carol – Charles Causley

folio english xmas
The Folio Book of the English Christmas

Publication: 2000 (OOP)
Where to buy:The Folio Book of the English Christmas @ Abes

About the book: A second collection of seasonal writings was released in 2002, with this volume being illustrated by John Holder. It includes 7 colour plates, with an additional 36 b&w illustrations in the text. There are many different genres of English Christmas writing represented herein, including excerpts from classic novels. The volume is strikingly bound in dark red buckram with gilt lettering surrounded by a holly design.

Sample contents: 
Signs of Christmas – Edwin Lees
otswold Carol Singing – Laurie Lee
What sweeter music – Robert Herrick
Crazy enterprise in Crazies Hill – Edie Fry
At Chatsworth – Harold Macmilan
Pudding making – Anon
Christmas cards from the Cremers – Eleanor Farheon
Masters in this hall – William Morris
Diary of a blacksmith’s daughter – Ann Staight – Susan Oldacre
The Ashford wer-wolf’s Christmas dinner – Sutherland Menzies
The far side of the railway poster – R F Delderfield
The sons and daughters of Christmas – Ben Jonson
Christmas – WH Davies
Mole End – Kenneth Graham
Eight Years Old – Henry Williamson
When the fog loiters – Henry James
At Cliveden – Joyce Grenfell
The Little Saviour – I. F.
Christmas Day, 1843 – Lord Shaftsbury
The plum-pottage riots – Geoff and Fran Doel
Christmas Day, 1657 – John Evelyn
The fine old season meant well – George Eliot


folio xmas crime
The Folio Book of Christmas Crime Stories

Publication: 2004 (OOP)
Where to buy:The Folio Book of Christmas Crime Stories @ Abes

About the book: After the previous volumes proved relatively popular, a short series of thematic Christmas anthologies followed, with the first being my personal favourite, Christmas Crime Stories published in 2004. This volume is illustrated by Michael Foreman with 14 colour plates and a couple of pen and ink vignettes. It features 15 Christmas crime stories to cozy up with, and the volume is quarter bound in blue linen with illustrated paper boards.

Contents include: Crime stories by Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, Liza Cody, Arthur Conan Doyle, Colin Dexter, Stanley Ellin, Tim Heald , Edward D. Hoch, E.W. Hornung, P.D. James, Peter Lovesey, Ngaio Marsh, Sara Paretsky, Ellis Peters and Margaret Yorke.

folio xmas ghost
The Folio Book of Christmas Ghost Stories

Publication: 2005 (OOP)
Where to buy:The Folio Book of Christmas Ghost Stories @ Abes

About the book: Christmas Ghost Stories was released the following year, illustrated by Peter Suart. This volume features twenty ghostly tales and contains 15 colour plates. The volume is quarter bound in grey linen with illustrated paper boards.


The kit-bag / Algernon Blackwood 
The old nurse’s story / Mrs Gaskell
The phantom coach / Amelia B. Edwards
Jerry Bundler / W.W. Jacobs 
Mrs Lunt / Hugh Walpole 
The story of the Goblins who stole a sexton / Charles Dickens Afterward / Edith Wharton
When Satan goes home for Christmas / Robertson Davies
Smee / “Ex-Private X” Saviourgate / Russel Kirk Sonata for harp and bicycle / Joan Aiken
The shop of ghosts / G.K. Chesterton
The story of a disappearance and an appearance / M.R. James
The leaf-sweeper / Muriel Spark 
Earthbound / Mrs Oliphant The headstone / C.J.A. Boorman
My first happy Christmas / Mary Elizabeth Braddon The operation / Violet Hunt Bad company / Walter de la Mare
The Duenna / Mrs Belloc Lowndes

folio xmas traveller
A Traveller’s Christmas

Publication: 2006 (OOP)
Illustrator: Paul Slater
Where to buy: A Traveller’s Christmas @ Abes

About the book: The last in this series was A Traveller’s Christmas published in 2006, illustrated by Paul Slater. This collection contains stories by a variety of authors such as Tolstoy, Washington Irving, Richard Burton and Dostoevsky – arranged in thematic sections such as Seasonal Feasts and Entertainments, and In Time of War and Other Perils. It contains 15 colour plates, and is quarter bound in red linen with illustrated paper boards.

Thematic sections include: Home and Away; Christmas at Sea; In Foreign Lands; Seasonal Feasts and Entertainments; The Back of Beyond; and In Time of War and Other Perils.

folio xmas carol
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Publication: 2003 (OOP)
Illustrator: Michael Foreman
Where to buy: A Christmas Carol @ Abes

About the book: 

The other Christmas publication that has seen quite a bit of love from the Folio Society is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The first Folio edition was published in 1970 – being a facsimile of his manuscript with illustrations by John Leech. This was followed in 1988 with an omnibus volume of Dickens’ Christmas Books illustrated by Charles Keeping, and again in 2007 with an updated binding. The edition shown in the video was published in 2003 with some dreamy illustrations by Michael Foreman. It is bound in blue buckram with a blocked design on the cover and contains 8 colour illustrations along with 29 black and white vignettes in the text. A modified version of this edition in reduced size and with monochrome illustrations was also released in 2016 as part of the Folio Collectibles range, and is still available from the The Folio Society directly.


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