The season of winter is one of contrasts. Snow-swept landscapes and dark nights are punctuated by the celebration of Christmas and the ushering in of a new year, with its log fires, cosy gatherings with friends and family, and an abundance of food and drink. This book celebrates these contrasts with pictures of Christmas joy and stark winter scenes by a wealth of artists including Rembrandt, Turner, Durer and Mary Delany. The meaning of winter to people in the past and the present is shown with objects from various departments of the British Museum, such as Moroccan knitted trousers, Sioux textiles, Greek sculpture and Anglo-Saxon drinking horns. Poems, verse and carols by authors of differing nationalities throughout history explore the varied moods of the season, and make for perfect reading on a chilly, wintry night. Works by authors such as Shakespeare, Dickens, Robert Frost, and Thomas Campion can be read alongside Viking sayings, Caribbean verse, English medieval carols, and Japanese haiku.
Marjorie Caygill joined the British Museum in 1973 and has published a number of books and articles on its history and collections. These include The Story of The British Museum, Treasures of the British Museum, The A-Z Companion and The British Museum, 250 Years.