Re: Christmas during the Regency period?
Posted by The Mysterious H.C. on December 11, 1997 at 17:37:08:
In response to Christmas during the Regency period?, written by Laurel on December 11, 1997 at 13:24:24
Laurel -- I'll just copy my message on this subject from further down the board; you might also find it interesting to use the word "Christmas" in the Jane Austen novel search form.
Barbara -- this has been discussed on the P&P2 board from time to time; briefly, the period around Christmas and New Year's was an excuse for some general feasting and jollity (as in Silas Marner or at Uppercross in chapter 14 of Persuasion), and a holiday when children at boarding schools would return home, but there weren't too many Christmas-specific customs among the gentry, and Christmas was not really a "child-centered" holiday (this was something of a low ebb for Christmas-specific observances, I think, coming near the end of a period of slow decay of old customs following the 17th century Puritan attacks on such things, and preceding the introduction of the Christmas Tree from Germany, Dickens' influence, etc. etc.). I read somewhere once that in the early 19th century, "God rest ye merry gentlemen" was the pretty much the only surviving Christmas carol that was known to most people.
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