Thursday, 6 January 2011

A Child's Christmas in Wales

As Christmas tails away for another year, here are two spreads and the cover from a charming little edition of 'A Child's Christmas in Wales' by Dylan Thomas. Printed by the Belmont Press, Northampton for J.M. Dent and Sons, the book was first published in the United Kingdom in 1968, an earlier edition being issued in the U.S. in 1954. It features beautiful woodcut vignettes by Ellen Raskin, which perfectly compliment Dylan's evocative account of a Welsh childhood Christmas. The image of the town with its cloud/constellation- the heavens above it and the sea beneath- is wonderful, as is the laterr vignette of toy soldiers standing guard by a towering glass epergne of sweets, and elswhere, a roaring fire with flaggons and mistletoe. This classic work for children ends with the following stanza:

'Looking through my bedroom window, out into
the moonlight and the unending smoke-coloured snow,
I could see the lights in the windows
of all the other homes on our hill and hear
the music rising from them up the long, steadily
falling night. I turned the gas down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and
holy darkness, and then I slept'

1 comment:

  1. Mm, I like that edition!

    The only one I have in the house--though for some reason I have two copies--is illustrated by Edward Ardizzone ( from David R. Godine of Boston.