The Night Before Christmas is a yuletide poem, originally known under the title A Visit from St. Nicholas. It is traditionally accredited to Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863), although debate continues to this day as to its authorship! Moore was an American professor of Oriental and Greek literature, as well as Divinity and Biblical learning, and the poem (which has been labelled `the best-known verses ever written by an American') is largely responsible for conceptions of `Santa Claus' popular from the mid-nineteenth century until today. This edition of The Night Before Christmas is accompanied throughout by a series of dazzling colour and black and white illustrations - by the master of the craft; Arthur Rackham (1867-1939). One of the most celebrated painters of the British Golden Age of Illustration (which encompassed the years from 1850 until the start of the First World War), Rackham's artistry is quite simply, unparalleled. Throughout his career, he developed a unique style, combining haunting humour with dream-like romance. Presented alongside the text, his illustrations further refine and elucidate Moore's captivating verse.
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