Christmas Triple-Feature: Stille Nacht, St. Nick & Scrooge

From top left: The title page of the first edition of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens; A handwritten manuscript of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore; the music and lyrics to "Stille Nacht, by Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber. Public domain

We're taking a look at three creative works that have become staples of the Christmas season. All three of them have played a huge part in how people observe and celebrate Christmas in parts of the world, and they all have milestone birthdays this year.

Tracy's Research:

  • Stille Nacht German lyrics:
  • Fischer, Mag. Manfred W.K. & Renate Schaffenberger. “The Facts.” Stille Nacht Gesellschaft.
  • Egan, Bill. “Silent Night, Holy Night: The History of a Famous Carol.” Soundscapes Journal on Media Culture.
  • Rowell, Geoffrey. “Dickens and the Construction of Christmas.” History Today. 12/12/1993.
  • Barnes, Alison. “The First Christmas Tree.” History Today. 12/12/2006.
  • Eschner, Kat. “Why Charles Dickens Wrote ‘A Christmas Carol.’” Smithsonian. 12/19/2016.
  • Blasco, Erin. “Guest Post: Christmas 1843: The Births of the First Christmas Card and A Christmas Carol.” Pushing the Envelope: Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. 12/12/2010.
  • Broich, John. “The Real Reason Charles Dickens Wrote A Christmas Carol.” Time. 12/13/2016.
  • Varese, Jon Michael. “Why A Christmas Carol was a flop for Dickens.” The Guardian. 12/22/2009.
  • Olshan, Jeremy. “What the insane circumstances under which Dickens wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’ reveal about money, debt, and success.” MarketWatch. 12/25/2017.
  • Harrison, Mary-Catherine. “Sentimental Realism: Poverty and the Ethics of Empathy, 1832-1867.” Thesis.
  • Reid, Carol. “Exhibit: Revisiting "A Visit from St. Nicholas.” New York State Library. 12/2015.
  • Moore, Clement Clareke. “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”
  • The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Encyclopedia Britannica. August 17, 2017
  • New York Historical Society. “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Object number MSS.BV.Moore.1.
  • New York Times. “Literary Sleuth Casts Doubt on the Authorship of an Iconic Christmas Poem.” 12/23/2009.
  • Kirkpatrick, David D. “Whose Jolly Old Elf Is That, Anyway?; Literary Sleuth Casts Doubt on the Authorship of an Iconic Christmas Poem.” New York Times. 12/26/2000.
  • New York Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin. “Original Documents from the Archives of the Society.”
  • Kaller, Seth. “The Moore Things Change.” The New-York Journal of American History. Winter 2004.
  • Kellam, William Porter. “The Story of "A Visit from St. Nicholas".” The Georgia Review. Vol. 8, No. 4. Winter, 1954. Via JSTOR.
  • Jackson, MacDonald P. “Style and Authorship in a Classic of Popular Culture: Henry Livingston and "The Night Before Christmas’” Style. Vol. 51, No. 4. Winter 2017.
  • Henry Livingston Jr. the author of “‘The Night Before Christmas.’”
  • Hitt, Jack. “Words On Trial: Can linguists solve crimes that stump the police?” New Yorker. 7/23/2012.
  • Nissenbaum, Stephen. “There Arose Such a Clatter: Who Really Wrote ‘The Night before Christmas’? (And Why Does It Matter?)” Common-Place. Vol. 1, No. 2, January 2001.
  • “Stille Nacht.” By Franz Gruber, performed by Julia Culp. 1914. Via

Topics in this Podcast: Austria, disputes, 19th century, U.S. history, Christmas, authors, British history, writers, novels, poets, poetry, charles dickens, Music