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Maine Historical Society



On-Demand Programs

Twas The Night – The Art and History of the Classic Christmas Poem
Book Talk with Pamela McColl

Recorded on December 8, 2022

"Twas The Night – The Art and History of the Classic Christmas Poem" is the first cultural history to be published of the highly-celebrated poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, also known as “Twas The Night Before Christmas”. The beautiful artwork and literary references presented in this publication were selected to demonstrate how Clement Moore - “The Poet of Christmas Eve”- draw upon two centuries of winter cultural traditions and customs, as well as elements from the spiritual and secular sectors, in the creation of the work. Over two hundred images are presented in the book including artwork by New England artists N.C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell. In 2022 and 2023 the poem marks two bi-centennial milestones; first read aloud by Moore on Christmas Eve 1822, with its print debut appearing in the Troy Sentinel newspapers of Troy, New York, December 23, 1823. This talk with Pamela McColl took a closer look at the beloved poem and its enduring popularity.