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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > Christmas 2017 > Books


This month’s best historical books

Christmas: A Biography

By Judith Flanders Picador, £14.99, hardback, 256 pages

Whether your reaction to the inevitable return of the Christmas season is starry-eyed excitement or weary resignation, this Yuletide history has something for everyone. From an exploration of what we really know about the festival’s early years to an insightful take on the permanence of nostalgia (Christmas has never, it would seem, been as good as it used to be), there’s plenty to enjoy. This isn’t merely a frothy tie-in book either, but a proper social history, featuring an interesting look at how ‘the most wonderful time of year’ has been reimagined and reinterpreted by generation after generation.


A popular 19th-century depiction of stagecoaches bringing Christmas goods to London – Flanders explores how Christmas has always been the subject of wistful nostalgia
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About History Revealed

When we began thinking of how best to celebrate our 50th issue, we thought it would be great to look at the turning points in history, to pick which decisions had the greatest impact on the world. But as we started to come up with a list of key moments, it soon became clear that this was a herculean task; we were going to need some help. A few phone calls and emails later, we had assembled a panel of experts including some of the most respected and popular historians, writers and broadcasters in the land. We quickly realised it’s not possible to define the single biggest decision in history – how could anyone? – but the variety of responses we had illustrated the vast richness of history. So, from Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, to Decca Records choosing to pass on the Beatles, we present 50 decisions that, for better or worse, have shaped our world. Before I let you go, I’d like to thank all of our readers most sincerely for your support since we launched – here’s to the next 50 issues!