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Christmas Books: Select Bibliography and Price Guide

Although not particularly popular in the 19th century, millions of Christmas books were published in the twentieth century and continue to be so now, as we approach 2021. Many believe the modern traditions of Christmas developed following the 1819 publication of Irving Washington's The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, which was a fictional story bringing characters together in an English manor house.

Christmas books tend to be of a cheery nature, as one might expect, often illustrated to a high standard. Names such as John Leech, W.J. Linton and John Tenniel in the nineteenth century, and others like Arthur Rackham, Margaret Tempest and Vojtech Kubasta in the twentieth, have helped ensure some of the most beautifully illustrated books are about Christmas.

The price guide below shows a select cross section of Christmas books recently offered for sale by booksellers. Unless stated otherwise, prices are for first edition, first printing hardback books. These are for guidance only - further research is recommended as there are many variables which impact the price of second hand books. It should be noted that signed copies usually sell for a premium, while there are significant price reductions for books lacking an original dust jacket (if issued).

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Select Bibliography and Price Guide

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  • 1819 The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent by Irving Washington, first USA softcover edition in seven volumes published by C.S. Van Winkle, good condition, £5,000
  • 1843 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with colour plates and woodcuts by John Leech and W.J. Linton, first UK hardcover edition published by Chapman and Hall, cloth binding, fine condition, £15,000
  • 1848 The Triumph of Woman: A Christmas Story by Charles Rowcroft, first UK hardcover edition published by Parry and Co, good condition, £1,040
  • 1848 Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain - A Fancy For Christmas-Time by Charles Dickens with illustrations by John Leech, John Tenniel and others, first UK hardcover edition published by Bradbury and Evans, gilt decorated cloth binding, fine condition, £1,100
  • 1856 Bertha's Christmas Vision: An Autumn Sheaf by Horatio Alger, first USA hardcover edition published by Brown, Bazin and Co, in cloth binding, good condition, £1,900
  • 1890 Thomas Nast's Christmas Drawing for the Human Race with illustrations by Thomas Nast, first USA hardcover edition published by Harper and Brothers, illustrated boards, good condition, £1,150
  • 1890 Christmas Dreams by Edith Nesbit with chromolithograph illustrations, first UK hardcover edition published by W. Hagelberg, fine condition in a very good dust jacket, £920
  • 1892 Arrowsmith Christmas Annual: The Great Shadow by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, first UK softcover edition published by J.W. Arrowsmith, very good condition, £1,500
  • 1902 Denslow's Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore with illustrations by W.W. Denslow, first USA hardcover edition published by G.W. Dillingham, illustrated boards, very good condition, £1,450
  • 1906 The Child's Christmas by Evelyn Sharp with illustrations by Charles Robinson, first UK hardcover edition published by Blackie and Son, bound in crimson morocco by the Chelsea Bindery, very good condition, £1,450
  • 1908 The Teddy Bear's Christmas with illustrations by W.W. Denslow, first USA softcover edition published by Miller Brothers & Co, VG condition, £785
  • 1915 When Christmas Comes Around by Priscilla Underwood with illustrations by Jessie Willcox Smith, first USA hardcover edition published by Duffield and Company, illustrated boards, very good condition, £1,150
  • 1915 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with illustrations by Arthur Rackham, first UK hardcover edition (in this format) published by Heinemann, very good condition in a very good dust jacket, £1,500
  • 1923 When Christmas Crossed the Peace by Nellie McClung, first Canadian hardcover edition published by Thomas Allen, fine condition in a very good dust jacket, £750
  • 1932 Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mitford with illustrations by Mark Ogilvie-Grant, first UK hardcover edition published by Thornton Butterworth, very good condition in a very good dust jacket, £2,500
  • 1936 Christmas and Other Feasts and Festivals: A Picture Commentary for Grown-Ups by Claude Flight, first UK hardcover edition published by George Routledge and Sons, very good condition in a good dust jacket, £985
  • 1939 Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie, first UK hardcover edition published by Collins, very good condition in a good dust jacket, £3,800
  • 1939 Little Grey Rabbit's Christmas by Alison Uttley with illustrations by Margaret Tempest, first UK hardcover edition published by Collins, very good condition in a very good dust jacket, £1,100
  • 1940 Christmas At Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, first UK hardcover edition published by Longmans, Green, very good condition in a good dust jacket, £1,500
  • 1944 The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Tale by Philip Van Doren Stern with illustrations by Raphaello Busoni, first USA hardcover edition published by David McKay Company, fine condition in a very good dust jacket, £2,200
  • 1952 Christmas At the Rose and Crown - A Little Brown Mouse Book by Alison Uttley with illustrations by Katherine Wigglesworth, first UK hardcover edition published by Heinemann, very good condition in a very good dust jacket, £1,900
  • 1955 Madeline's Christmas In Texas by Ludwig Bemelmans, first USA softcover edition published by Neiman-Marcus, very good condition, £1,050
  • 1957 How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (pseudonym of Theodor Seuss Geisel), first USA hardcover edition published by Random House, fine condition in a very good dust jacket, £1,900
  • 1959 Two Christmas Tales by Ernest Hemingway with illustrations by Victor Anderson, first USA softcover edition published by The Hart Press, a limited edition of 150 copies with illustrated wrappers, very good condition, £1,750
  • 1974 Christmas Eve: 13 Stories by Maeve Brennan, first USA hardcover edition published by Scribner, very good condition in a very good dust jacket, £900