illustration ©2010 Florence Cestac

illustration ©2012 Anton Emdin


Clement Clarke Moore (born 1779) was a biblical scholar and a professor of Oriental and Greek literature at Columbia College in New York. His best-known work prior to A Visit from St. Nicholas (1822) was A Compendious Lexicon of the Hebrew Language. He originally wrote the poem for the entertainment of his six children, and in the process he helped transform the St. Nicholas of Dutch tradition into the Santa Claus we know today. Moore refused to have the poem published, calling it “a mere trifle,” but it became a popular sensation when a family member submitted it to a newspaper. Today it remains one of the best-known poems of the Christmas tradition, and the only writing for which Moore is remembered, though the original authorship has been called into question. Some scholars have attributed the origin of the poem to Dutch poet Henry Livingston, Jr., in 1808.

Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas is illustrated by Florence Cestac in Christmas Classics, and his hilarious poem Olde Santeclaus is our 2012 Christmas card, illustrated by Anton Emdin.

Christmas Classics:
Graphic Classics Volume 19

144 pages, color, $15