Norton Christmas Highlights

We’ve got some very special stocking fillers for you this Christmas. We’re thrilled to be releasing the first ever trade edition of Dickens’s original manuscript of A Christmas Carol; a retro collection of vintage cards, decorations, advertisements and toys from the 1950s and ‘60s; a hilarious giftbook with photographs of dogs in various Christmas scenes; an anthology of short stories inspired by Edward Hopper from Pegasus Books; and a classic cookbook on rye bread for those post-Great British Bake Off blues. Take a look at our top five picks…

A Christmas Carol

The Original Manuscript Edition

Charles Dickens; with a Foreword by Colm Tóibín

This November, we publish a new edition of Charles Dickens’s beloved classic — the original facsimile produced handsomely with a gold embossed jacket. This is the first ever trade edition of the original manuscript and we are proud to represent Dickens’s work in its preliminary stages along with detailed emendations, deletions and insertions on every page. A wonderful gift for any Dickens lover!

With a foreword from Colm Tóibín celebrating the timelessness of the story, this book features every page from the manuscript which is currently preserved in the Morgan Library in New York. The chief literary curator provides the introduction to our facsimile, discussing its illuminating history. To view how the document is washed and “desilked” at the Library, click here.

We were thrilled to be able to see the real thing for ourselves at the Morgan Library (see below).

“It is thrilling to have, for the first time available to everyone, a superbly-produced facsimile of the manuscript of A Christmas Carol, which enables us to follow every stroke of Dickens’s pen as, in a white heat of excitement, he creates his timeless Christmas masterpiece.” — Michael Slater, author of Charles Dickens

Available on the 1st November. You can order A Christmas Carol on our website.

Midcentury Christmas

Holiday Fads, Fancies, and Fun from 1945 to 1970

Sarah Archer

Sarah Archer evokes the spirit of post-war America at Christmas time in the 1950s and ’60s with this beautiful book from Countryman Press. Midcentury Christmas is almost like an extended episode of Mad Men where you can see the type of tongue-in-cheek advertisements that Don Draper has masterminded, the decorations his wife would choose for her Christmas tree in keeping with the current fashions (whilst looking immaculate as she puts everything together) and the dollies little Sally plays with whilst watching cartoons on the TV.

The range of toys in this book are particularly fascinating and it’s often the case that the packaging itself outshines the product. Advertising has really hit its stride and there is an emphasis on quality, trustworthy brands that become custodians to a family’s health, well-being and happiness.

Design maven Sarah Archer tells the story of how Christmas time in America transitioned from the Victorian period into Space Age with the advent of new technologies and a rise in disposable income. The materialism of the era is lavishly documented here with sentimentalism and humour. You’ll find Christmas recipes, cards, how-to templates and instructions for decorations from Good Housekeeping, movie stills, original advertisements for toys and stocking fillers, and much more. This is a vivid insight into the almost sacred values of the American family unit, and the desire to dispense with frugality at Christmas time to drown out a long period of unrest from the first half of the century.

Available on the 11th November. You can order Midcentury Christmas on our website.

Bark! The Herald Angels Sing

The Dogs of Christmas

Peter Thorpe

If you happened to have missed our competition for this delightful little book, you can get your hands on a copy as it’s officially out now — for just £9.99! Professional photographer Peter Thorpe has spent over two decades photographing his adorable dogs, Raggle and Paddy, in a variety of different Christmas scenes, from Charles Dickens’s London to the ice floes of Antarctica. Here, for the first time, his photographs have been compiled into a handsome pocket-size book produced by Countryman Press — complete with Christmas stickers for your gift-wrapping needs.

Peter recently picked two lovely dogs — Lenny and Mazey — from our competition on social media to take part in their own photoshoot this coming month. Both winners will star in a special Christmas card. We can’t wait to reveal the final photographs!

The lovely Raggle!

Peter makes his own sets and props, and used no digital retouching. In Bark! The Herald Angels Sing, he describes his inspiration for each card and he suggests how readers might attempt to capture the scenes with their own dogs. Perhaps not suitable for extremely fidgety pets…

To see some examples of Peter’s past work, click here.

You can order Bark! The Herald Angels Sing on our website.

The Rye Baker

Classic Breads from Europe and America

Stanley Ginsberg

Never before has a book explored rye bread so extensively as this one. Award-winning author Stanley Ginsberg brings together over 70 classic recipes which introduce bakers to the bread that stands at the centre of northern and eastern European food culture. These recipes include the immigrant breads of America, the rustic French pains de seigle, the earthy ryes of Alpine Austria and upper Italy, the crackly knäckebröds of Scandinavia, and the diverse breads of Germany, the Baltic countries, Poland and Russia.

Readers will discover dark, sour classic Russian Borodinsky; orange and molasses-infused Swedish Gotländ Rye; nearly black Westphalian Pumpernickel, which gets its musky sweetness from a 24-hour bake; traditional Old Milwaukee Rye and bright, caraway-infused Austrian Country Boule. There are also are reader-friendly chapters on rye’s history, unique chemistry and centuries-old baking methods. Advanced bakers will relish Stanley’s methods, ingredients and carefully sourced recipes, while beginning bakers will delight in his clear descriptions of baking fundamentals.

The Rye Baker is the definitive resource for home bakers and professionals alike. This is bread worthy of a handshake from Paul Hollywood!

“Rye breads are back, as they rightly should be. In The Rye Baker, Stanley Ginsberg has given us everything we need to know about this most misunderstood and fascinating grain, along with a complete collection of superb formulas for every variation of rye bread imaginable. This book is a must-have for all serious bread bakers; an instant classic.” — Peter Reinhart, author of Bread Revolution

“The baking journey starts with the chemistry of sours, soakers, sponges, and scalds; then takes you around the world for a master class of the genre.” — Chad Robertson, author of Tartine Bread

You can order The Rye Baker on our website.

In Sunlight or in Shadow

Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper

Edited by Lawrence Block

Alain de Botton has described Edward Hopper as “the father of a whole school of art that takes as its subject matter threshold spaces, buildings that lie outside homes and offices, places of transit where we are aware of a particular kind of alienated poetry.” Hopper’s paintings invariably reveal ostracized subjects whose gaze settles on nothing or nobody in particular; rather, the gaze has turned inward— the consequence of detaching oneself momentarily from the background noise of existence. Hopper’s paintings locate those shady moments between things, the inertia of waiting for the future or recalling the past.

Now, for the 50th anniversary of Hopper’s death next year, Pegasus Books are publishing an anthology of short stories, all of which are inspired by Hopper’s enigmatic paintings. Authors include Jeffery Deaver, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Lee Child and Robert Olen Butler, among many others.

This anthology is edited by author and “ mesmerizing raconteur” (The New York Times) Lawrence Block who also contributes. In Sunlight or In Shadow is marvelously varied in its use of ekphrasis — ranging from thrillers and hard boiled detective fiction to eroticism, magic realism and domestic drama. Each painting is also faithfully reprinted for each of the seventeen stories, providing a visual and literary feast.

“Iconic American painter Edward Hopper serves as muse for editor Block and an impressive array of 16 other writers who select their favorite paintings to inspire a short story. A remarkable collection.” — Publishers Weekly

This would make a wonderful Christmas present for any fans of Edward Hopper or the short story form.

Available on the 11th November. You can order In Sunlight or in Shadow on our website.

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