“Christmas At Thompson Hall & Other Christmas Stories”

Christmas At Thompson Hall

One of the questions in Abbie’s Writing Hour Roundup last week was around festive reading, and whether you have any festive favourites. I’m reading one right now —“Christmas At Thompson Hall & Other Christmas Stories”.

Favourite festive reading

Two favourites of mine people mentioned on Twitter are Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”; and Beatrix Potter’s “The Tailor Of Gloucester”.

The latter is the gentle story of an old tailor, commissioned to make ‘the finest of wedding coats for the Mayor of Gloucester’.

When he falls ill, only a Christmas miracle can save the day.

A charming on-screen adaptation can be found here.

“Christmas At Thompson Hall”

As we’re in Christmas week, I’m reading a collection of five festive short stories by Victorian author, Anthony Trollope – “Christmas At Thompson Hall & Other Christmas Stories”.

It includes the eponymous “Christmas At Thompson Hall”, and four others:

  • “Christmas Day At Kirkby Cottage”
  • “The Mistletoe Bough”
  • “The Two Generals”
  • “Not If I Know It”

Seasonal stories all, written with Christmas in mind.

Trollope was well-travelled for a man of his time, partly because of his job with the Post Office, and my favourite stories here both feature journeys, of different kinds –  “The Two Generals”,  featuring two brothers on opposing sides of the American Civil War, and “Christmas At Thompson Hall”, a Christmassy comedy of errors.

A lot like fiction in the “Friend”

The pace of the writing is gentle. The stories reminded me a lot of our own “Friend” fiction – with family and friends at heart.

A very Victorian Christmas

The stories were originally published between 1861 and 1882, in such publications as “The Illustrated London News” (“The Mistletoe Bough”), and “Good Words” (“The Two Generals”).

Although so much time has passed since Trollope wrote them, much remains the same today.

The Christmas spirit, of course, and many of the traditions. But also the family get-togethers, the misunderstandings, and the fallings-out – and fallings-back-in-again!

“Christmas At Thompson Hall & Other Christmas Stories” is published by Penguin Classics.

Merry Christmas!

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Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!