23 Dec: The Night Before The Night Before Christmas

Before becoming the most valuable poem in American Literature, ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas’ was published anonymously in the Troy Sentinel on 23rd December, 1823 – its author remaining a secret for fourteen years.

The work, commonly known as ‘The Night Before Christmas’, was eventually revealed to be written by philosopher and lecturer Clement Clark Moore – although, in recent years, the family of Major Henry Livingston Jr. have claimed that their ancestor was its true author.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how the poem has influenced our perception of Santa’s rotundness, but not his height; reveal the Protestant-Catholic divide deftly swerved by Moore in his setting of his story; and explore just what else the Troy Sentinel brought the world… 

Further Reading:

• ‘’Twas The Night Before Christmas – Narrated by Michael Bublé’ (Michael Bublé, 2019):

• ‘The Mystery Behind the World’s Most Famous Christmas Poem’ (Mental Floss, 2016): https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/26719/mystery-behind-worlds-most-famous-christmas-poem

• ‘Clement Clarke Moore, American scholar and author’ (Britannica): https://www.britannica.com/biography/Clement-Clarke-Moore

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