Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way… Christmas is here, and so are we with our biggest ever Christmas basket. There's something for everyone - novels, short stories, poems, and carols - for a cozy and wonderful holiday enjoyment. So grab a cup of coffee and soak into the spirit of festive cheer with our "The Big Christmas Basket": Novels: Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (L. Frank Baum) Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) The Wonderful Wizard of OZ (L. Frank Baum) Little Lord Fauntleroy (Frances Hodgson Burnett) Anne of Green Gables (Lucy Maud Montgomery) Black Beauty (Anna Sewell) Christmas-Tree Land (M.L. Molesworth) Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame) Peter Pan and Wendy (J. M. Barrie) Oliver Twist Pollyanna (Eleanor H. Porter) At the Back of the North Wind (George MacDonald) A Versailles Christmas-Tide (A. S. Boyd) The Man Who Forgot Christmas (Max Brand)... Short Stories: A Merry Christmas & Other Christmas Stories (Louisa May Alcott) The Gift of the Magi (O. Henry) Papa Panov's Special Christmas (Leo Tolstoy) Doctor Marigold's Prescriptions (Charles Dickens) The Tailor of Gloucester (Beatrix Potter) The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter) The Christmas Guest (Selma Lagerlöf) At Christmas Time (Anton Chekhov) Little Gretchen and the Wooden Shoe Toinette and the Elves (Susan Coolidge) The Heavenly Christmas Tree (Dostoevsky) The Princess and the Goblin The Nutcracker and the Mouse King The Little Match Girl Little Jean (Francois Coppe) How the Fir Tree Became the Christmas Tree The Magi in the West and Their Search for the Christ The Little Shepherd... Poems & Carols: Silent Night The Three Kings (H. W. Longfellow) Christmas Bells (Longfellow) Christmas at Sea (Stevenson) Christmas in the Olden Time (Walter Scott) Old Santa Claus (Clement Clarke Moore) The Twelve Days of Christmas Minstrels (Wordsworth) Ring Out, Wild Bells (Tennyson) Hymn on the Morning of Christ's Nativity (John Milton) A Christmas Carol (Coleridge)…
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Hector Hugh Munro (1870 1916) was a British author best known by his pen name Saki.
Although he wrote two novels and several political sketches most notably The Westminster Alice, a parody authorized by Carroll's publishers it is his large output of satirical short stories for which he is remembered, and is still considered one of the masters of the genre.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain, was born on November 30, 1835, in the tiny village of Florida, Missouri.
Writing grand tales about Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and the mighty Mississippi River, Mark Twain explored the American soul with wit, buoyancy, and a sharp eye for truth. He became nothing less than a national treasure.
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian physician, dramatist and author, is considered to be one of the greatest writers of short stories and modern drama. Born in Taganrog, a port town near the Black Sea, he attended medical school at Moscow University.
He began writing to supplement his income, writing short humorous sketches of contemporary Russian life. A successful literary careered followed, before his premature death of TB at the age of 44. He is best-remembered for his four dramatic masterpieces: The Seagull (1896), Uncle Vanya (1899), Three Sisters (1901) and The Cherry Orchard (1904).
Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (1776–1822) replaced his third name, Wilhelm, with Amadeus in homage to Mozart. A towering figure of German Romanticism, Hoffmann was a composer, music critic, theater director, draftsman, and caricaturist as well as a writer. Although his stories challenged readers to free their minds from the conventions of reality, Hoffmann accepted the practical constraints of everyday life, training as a lawyer and serving as a judge.
Alphonse Daudet was born in Nimes in 1840. He made his name with gentle stories and novels portraying life in the French provinces, notably Lettres de mon Moulin (1869).
He died in 1897. His extraordinary notebooks detailing the effects of syphilis on his life were first published under the title In the Land of Pain by Daudet's widow in 1931.
The first English translation by Julian Barnes was published by Cape in 2002.
Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh on 15 August 1777. He was educated in Edinburgh and called to the bar in 1792, succeeding his father as Writer to the Signet, then Clerk of Session. He published anonymous translations of German Romantic poetry from 1797, in which year he also married. In 1805 he published his first major work, a romantic poem called The Lay of the Last Minstrel, became a partner in a printing business, and several other long poems followed, including Marmion (1808) and The Lady of the Lake (1810) . These poems found acclaim and great popularity, but from 1814 and the publication of Waverley , Scott turned almost exclusively to novel-writing, albeit anonymously.
A hugely prolific period of writing produced over twenty-five novels, including Rob Roy (1817), The Heart of Midlothian (1818), The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), Kenilworth (1821) and Redgauntlet (1824) . Already sheriff-depute of Selkirkshire, Scott was created a baronet in 1820. The printing business in which Scott was a partner ran into financial difficulties in 1826, and Scott devoted his energies to work in order to repay the firm’s creditors, publishing many more novels, dramatic works, histories and a life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Sir Walter Scott died on 21 September 1832 at Abbotsford, the home he had built on the Scottish Borders.
Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh in 1771, educated at the High School and University there and admitted to the Scottish Bar in 1792. From 1799 until his death he was Sheriff of Selkirkshire, and from 1806 to 1830 he held a well-paid office as a principal clerk to the Court of Session in Edinburgh, the supreme Scottish civil court. From 1805, too, Scott was secretly an investor in, and increasingly controller of, the printing and publishing businesses of his associates, the Ballantyne brothers.
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1811, the seventh child of a well-known Congregational minister, Lyman Beecher. The family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she met and married Calvin Stowe, a professor of theology, in 1836.
Living just across the Ohio River from the slave-holding state of Kentucky, and becoming aware of the plight of escaping slaves, led her to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published in book form in 1842. She wrote the novel amidst the difficulties of bringing up a large family of six children.
The runaway success of Uncle Tom’s Cabin made its author a well-known publish figure. Stowe died in 1896.
Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark, in 1805. His Fairy Tales, the first children's stories of their kind, which were published in instalments from 1835 until his death in 1875, have been translated into more than a hundred languages and adapted for every kind of media.
Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886) lived in almost complete isolation from the outside world, but maintained many correspondences and read widely.
Upon her death, Dickinson's family discovered 40 handbound volumes of her poems, which she had assembled herself.
William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770 at Cockermouth, in the English Lake District, the son of a lawyer. He was one of five children and developed a close bond with his only sister, Dorothy, whom he lived with for most of his life. At the age of 17, shortly after the deaths of his parents, Wordsworth went to St John’s College, Cambridge, and after graduating travelled to Revolutionary France.
Upon returning to England he published his first poem and devoted himself wholly to writing. He became great friends with other Romantic poets and collaborated with Samuel Taylor Coleridge on Lyrical Ballads. In 1843, he succeeded Robert Southey as Poet Laureate and died in the year ‘Prelude’ was finally published, 1850.
Eleanor H. Porter was an American novelist from New Hampshire, born in 1868.
Although trained as a singer, she later turned to writing stories for children and romance and adventure novels for adults.
Her most famous novel is Pollyanna, written in 1913. She wrote 15 novels and many short stories during her career. Porter died in 1920.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied law but preferred writing and in 1881 was inspired by his stepson to write Treasure Island.
Other famous adventure stories followed including Kidnapped, as well as the famous collection of poems for children, A Child's Garden of Verses. Robert Louis Stevenson is buried on the island of Samoa.
J. M. Barrie (1860-1937) was fascinated by stories of his mother's life. He was determined to write, and worked on the Nottingham Journal after graduating from Edinburgh University.
In 1885 he successfully sold the Auld Licht Idylls, which were based on his mother's tales. By the time Peter Pan opened on the London stage in 1904, Barrie had written more than thirty novels and plays, such as Quality Street and The Admirable Crichton. He was created a baronet in 1913 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1922.
Guy de Maupassant was born in Normandy in 1850. In addition to his six novels, which include Bel-Ami (1885) and Pierre et Jean (1888), he wrote hundreds of short stories, the most famous of which is 'Boule de suif'.
By the late 1870s, he began to develop the first signs of syphilis, and in 1891 he was committed to an asylum in Paris, having tried to commit suicide. He died there two years later.
Louisa May Alcott was born on 29 November 1832 in Pennsylvania, and she grew up with plenty of books to read but seldom enough to eat. Louisa went to work when she was very young as a paid companion and teacher, but she loved writing most of all, and like Jo March she started selling sensational stories in order to help provide financial support for her family.
She worked as a nurse during the American Civil War but the experience made her extremely ill. Little Women was published in 1868 and was based on her life growing up with her three sisters. She followed it with three sequels, Good Wives (1869), Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886) and she also wrote other books for both children and adults. Louisa was also a campaigner for women's rights and the abolition of the slave trade. She died on 6 March 1888.
Rudyard Kipling was born in India in 1865. After intermittently moving between India and England during his early life, he settled in the latter in 1889, published his novel The Light That Failed in 1891 and married Caroline (Carrie) Balestier the following year.
They returned to her home in Brattleboro, Vermont, where Kipling wrote the two Jungle Books and Captains Courageous.
He continued to write prolifically and was the first Englishman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907 but his later years were darkened by the death of his son John at the Battle of Loos in 1915. He died in 1936.
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and became the most popular novelist of the Victorian era.
A prolific writer, he published more than a dozen novels in his lifetime, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and Hard Times, most of which have been adapted many times over for radio, stage and screen.
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