Night Before Christmas
The Night Before Christmas
by Clement C.Moore and Karen Erasmaus, Hachette Australia, 2012
Karen Erasmus is a well known Australian children's book illustrator, whose contemporary illustrations of this popular and historic Christmas tale are now displayed here in Maitland for the whole community to enjoy over the Christmas period.
There is a fascinating history about the origins of The Night before Christmas. According to legend, American writer Clement Clarke Moore wrote his famous poem, 'A Visit from St. Nicholas', also known as 'The Night Before Christmas', for his family on Christmas Eve 1822. He never intended that it be published, but a family friend learned of the poem sometime later from Moore's children. She copied it into her album and submitted it to the editor of the Troy (New York) Sentinel where it made its first appearance in print on December 23 1823. Soon, the poem began to be reprinted in other newspapers, almanacs and magazines, with the first appearance in a book in the 'New York Book of Poetry' in 1837.
It was not until 1844 however, that Moore himself acknowledged authorship in a volume of his poetry simply entitled Poems, published at the request of his children.
Almost two centuries later it is the most published, most read, most memorised and most collected book in all of Christmas literature.