‘A Very Pretty Little Christmas Carol’ from A Garland of Christmas Carols (Chapbooks 821.89 GAR)
Chistmas day is growing near so here’s a little carol to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This carol is from A Garland of Christmas Carols chapbook, which consists of many other Christmas Carols. A Chapbook is an early type of popular literature. They were produced cheaply, were commonly small paper-covered booklets that were usually printed on a single sheet and folded into books with 8, 12, 16 and 24 pages.
Christmas Tree at Windsor Castle from ‘Illustrated London News, Christmas Supplement’, 1848 (19th Century Collection, 19th C. Coll, 030 ILL)This illustration from the December 1848 Christmas Supplement to the Illustrated London News, shows the royal family gathered round a christmas tree at Windsor Castle. When this image first appeared in the Illustrated London News, it attracted a huge amount of attention. The upper classes had been decorating trees for some time, having been introduced by Queen Charlotte in the 18th century, but this image spread the fashion to the rest of society.
Decorating a tree with candles and gifts was a German tradition that was enthusiastically enjoyed by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. This image of the royal family, which depicts children, parents and grandmother, all enjoying themselves around the tree was influential in promoting Christmas as a family occasion. By the end of the 1840s, Christmas had become a festival celebration of the Victorian calendar.
Prologue from ‘Round about the coal-fire: or Christmas entertainments’ (19th Century Collection, 19th C. Coll 398.268 CHR)To get you in the Christmas spirit, here’s the Prologue from ‘Round about our coal fire, or, Christmas Entertainments’ “wherein is described abundance of Fiddle-Faddle-Stuff, Raw-heads, bloody-bones, Buggybows and such like Horrible Bodies; Eating, Drinking, Kissing & other Diversions…” produced in 1734.
‘The Fig Tree’ illustration from Elizabeth Blackwell’s Herbal Vol. 1
Plate 125. The Fig Tree. Ficus.
It seldome grows to be a Tree of any great Bigness in England; the Leaves are a grass Green and the Fruit when ripe of a brownish Green; it beareth no visible Flowers, which makes it believed they are hid in the Fruit.
Its Native soils are Turky, Spain and Portugal; and its time of Bearing is in Spring and Autumn; the Figs are cured by dipping them in scalding hot Lye, made of ye Ashes of the Guttings of the Tree, and afterwards they dry them carefully in the Sun.
Figs are esteem’d cooling and moistning, good for coughs, shortness of Breath, and all Diseases of the Breast; as also the Stone and Gravel, – and the small Pox and Measels, which they drive out. – Outwardly they are dissolving and ripening, good for Imposthumations and Swellings; and pestilential buboes.
Latin, Ficus. Spanish, Igos. Italian, Fichi: French, Figues. German, Fengen. Dutch Uygen.
The below extract is taken from Kate Greenaway’s 1890 almanack and describes the seasons through rhyme and accompanying illustrations…
The lambs are playing, and the day
Is sweetly scented with the May.
The sun is warm, but sweetly cool
The waters of the rippling pool.
The corn is cut, and on the bough
Are reddest apples hanging now.
The cold is keen, for north winds blow,
And softly falling comes the snow.”
Catherine Greenaway (1846 – 1901), known as Kate Greenaway, was an English children’s book illustrator and writer. Her almanacs ran from 1883 up until 1897, with no 1896 issue being published. Each almanacks included a Jan-Dec calendar, beautifully drawn illustrations and short poems. Her almanacs were sold throughout America, England, Germany and France and were produced with different variations and in different languages.
Here’s a snowy and wintery image from our University Archives.
Photograph of Geoffrey Clarke’s sculpture, in the snow, in front of Sir Basil Spence’s Herschel Building at Newcastle University, for the Department of Physics, taken 1963.
‘Spiral Nebula’ (also known as ‘Swirling Nebula’) was designed by noted post-war sculptor Geoffrey Clarke in 1962. It is a leading example of post-war public art. It is one of the few from this period that is situated in Newcastle.
It was commissioned by the architect Basil Spence as part of the design of the Herschel Building for the Physics Department of Kings College, University of Durham (which later in 1963 became Newcastle University). It reflects the scientific advances being made at this time, such as Britain’s first satellite, ‘Ariel 1’, which was launched in 1963 (the same year as the building was opened and sculpture unveiled).
Read more about the sculpture’s history and its revival here.
‘Spiral Nebula’ was one of five pieces of post-war public art in the North East to be given listed status at Grade II by Historic England in August 2016 (announced by Historic England September 2016). Read more here.
This photograph is part of the photographic section of the University Archives. To see more images of ‘Spiral Nebula’ in situ and being constructed, visit CollectionsCaptured.
“Go Away! Go Away! I’ve got nothing for you.”Image from Punch Volume 119 (1900) – ‘Punch, or the London Charivari’, December 26th 1900
PUNCH, also named The London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 1850s, when it helped to coin the term “cartoon” in its modern sense as a humorous illustration. After the 1940s, when its circulation peaked, it went into a long decline, closing in 1992. It was revived in 1996, but closed again in 2002.
‘Newcastle Beer’ from A Beauk o’ Newcassel Sangs (Joseph Crawhall II Collection, Crawhall 12)
“When fame brought the news of Great Britain’s success,
And told at Olympus each Gallic defeat,
Glad Mars sent to Mercury orders express,
To summon the Deities was plac’d
To guide the gay feast,
And freely declar’d there was choice of good cheer;
Yet vow’d to his thinking,
For exquisite drinking,
Their Nectar was nothing to Newcastle Beer.”
Joseph Crawhall II was born in Newcastle in 1821 and was the son of Joseph Crawhall I, who was a sheriff of Newcastle. As well as running the family ropery business with his brothers, he also spent his time illustrating, making woodcuts and producing books.
25th December 1942 diary extract from Professor Duff
Extract from Professor Duff’s 1942 diary entry. Professor Duff explains what he did on Christmas day and of the assassination of admiral Darlan during World War II.
FRIDAY 25 Christmas Day – Bank Holiday in U.K.
“Sunday” bells allowed to ring for Christmas everywhere. We exchanged presents and greetings. Damp most of the day. Another considerable mail came to us. At a short Xmas service Dr. Bacon addressed his congregation on the significance of the shepherds going to Bethlehem, Luke 2.15
Christmas midday dinner at the grand Hotel. 2-3 Wireless greetings to and from allies all over the world & “peeps” into Christmas parties. 3pm. The King spoke urging brotherhood. He was much less hesitating than usual. We made an early black-out, & by 3.45 we all four were at the Anderstones for tea. Home again n time for 6 o’clock news – chief item this morning at 9 a.m. was the assassination in Algiers of admiral Darlan who came over recently to the allied side though had unfairly at an earlier time slandered Britain as hostile to them the “generous” Hitler!!
Page from ‘The Night Before Christmas‘, 1903 (821.91 MOO)
“The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below –
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.”
The above image and extract are from ‘The Night Before Christmas’, Dean’s Rag Books Co. Ltd.
‘The Night Before Christmas’ (1903) contains colourful illustrations printed on fabric (also known as rag books) and is sewn up the spine using thread.
Dean’s Rag Books Co. Ltd, was founded in 1903, by Henry Samuel Dean. The company was originally set up to make rag books but soon diversed into rag sheets and soft toys, including teddy bears. During the 1920s and 1930s Dean’s were at the forefront of British bear manufacturing.