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Mr. Elf does not like holidays. But King Thistle thinks he deserves a break, so sends him for a well-earned rest in the sunshine with Mrs Elf, plus best friends Ben and Holly!
Most famous in the realm of holiday literature for his 1843 publication, A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens was in fact a prolific writer in the yuletide genre and a great contributor to many now-prevalent traditions of the holiday itself. In 1944, A Christmas Carol, Dickens released The Chimes: A Christmas Story of Some Bells That Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In, which combined his usual sympathy for the poor with the notion that we must always strive to live in nobler ways. In 1845 came the novella The Cricket on the Hearth. The years 1846 and 1848 respectively saw published The Battle of Life and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain. Because of this wealth of Christmas-themed works, Dickens is sometime referred to as the man who invented Christmas.”
The Journal of a Holiday Maker - London to South Africa, is the true story of an Afro-British couple (John and Shirley) who explore southern Africa for the first time and more specifically, South Africa; the story is narrated through the voice of Shirley. It is a fascinating and truly absorbing perspective on a time of great socio-political change in South Africa and Zimbabwe and Shirley displays a keen eye for how these changes are manifested in both the people and societies in general. She sets the visit very firmly in its historical context and describes with great vision, the effects of Apartheid and the prevailing political environment. The excitement of the pending release from prison of Mr. Mandela; the environment of hope for the future of South Africa; and therefore the survival of South Africa were all palpable to the holiday maker in South Africa at the time. Far from being gloomy and depressing, or forming heavy reading; The Journal of a Holiday Maker is filled with larger than life characters, that with the Author's descriptive eloquence is vividly brought to life and encouraged to play his/her part and before easing back into the shadows but leaves a lasting impression; only to be replaced by another and another. But far from being gloomy and depressing or heavy reading; The Journal of a Holiday Maker is filled with larger than life characters, who, combined with the author's descriptive eloquence makes the book come vividly alive. This is a must-read for all those who enjoy a personal Bill Brysonesque account well told.
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