The Gilded Age and Progressive Era

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Christmas Past

Ep. 10

How did Americans celebrate Christmas in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era? This episode has a festive feel as I ask Thomas Ruys Smith about his new book Christmas Past: An Anthology of Seasonal Stories from Nineteenth Century America. We'll talk about household names such as Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, as well as stories you may have never heard from slaves, immigrants, Native Americans, and non-Christians.


Essential Reading:

Thomas Ruys Smith, Christmas Past: An Anthology of Seasonal Stories from Nineteenth Century America (2021).


Recommended Reading:

Penn Restad, Christmas in America: A History (1995).


Stephen Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas: A Social and Cultural History of Our Most Cherished Holiday (1997).


Karal Ann Marling, Merry Christmas! Celebrating America's Greatest Holiday (2000).


Tara Moore, Victorian Christmas in Print (2009).


Robert May, Yuletide in Dixie: Slavery, Christmas, and Southern Memory (2019).

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