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A Christmas gift from long ago

Giving the gift of books this Christmas? You’re a part of a centuries-long tradition. Publishers have been marketing books especially for Christmas shopping and giving for centuries – anthologies of poetry and short stories were especially popular gift books in the 18th and 19th centuries. One of Special Collections’ earliest examples of a Christmas gift book is The Christmas Treat, printed in Dublin, Ireland in 1767. It is a compendium of poetic epigrams. The examples range from translations of pieces by Greek and Roman poets to excerpts from contemporary writers like Pope, Dryden, and Swift.

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