Twas the Night: The Art and History of the Classic Christmas Poem with Author Pamela McColl

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Program Description

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Discover the history behind a well-loved holiday poem! "A Visit from St. Nicholas" is the iconic poem by Clement C. Moore that many of us know verbatim, at least parts of it. Join Pamela McColl, author of the new book, Twas The Night – The Art and History of the Classic Christmas Poem. She will discuss the making of this famous literary work, also known as The Night Before Christmas. Go way back, two centuries worth, of winter cultural traditions and customs Clement C. Moore drew upon, as McColl discusses the poem's cultural history and significance.

McColl's book is a celebration of the original poem's brilliance and its phenomenon and enduring popularity. It is jam packed with over two hundred images including artwork by Jessie Willcox Smith, N.C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol, F.O.C. Darley, and Thomas Nast. Learn how the poem is celebrating two milestones in 2022 and 2023: how Clement Clarke Moore of New York read the poem aloud on Christmas Eve 1822, and how it first appeared in print in the Troy, New York Sentinel newspapers on December 23, 1823.

This event is in partnership with Barrett Bookstore in Darien. Please note: while books will not be sold at the event, they will be available for prior purchase online at Barrett Bookstore (pick up at the store).

Bring your book to the event! The author will be on hand to sign books afterwards.

About the Author

In 2012, Pamela McColl published a revised edition of Twas The Night Before Christmas that attracted international media attention, from The Colbert Report to the BBC. Her decision to edit out the reference to Santa Claus "smoking a pipe" was a topic over dinner tables from Brisbane to New York. Now, in appreciation of the classic poem marking a bi-centennial anniversary in 2022 and 2023, McColl brings her extensive knowledge of the poem's history to this new publication. McColl studied art and history and went on to do graduate work in the field of cultural history before working as a corporate art consultant for 20 years. From there she launched an art and book publication company in 1997. This latest book production is the culmination of ten years of research into the 200 year history of the famous poem.



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