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5779126-LTo celebrate festive traditions, here is an excerpt from The Book of Christmas descriptive of the Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling, and Festivities of the Christmas Season (1836) by Victorian poet and critic Thomas Kibble Hervey (1799 – 1859).

“Boxing-day is still a great day in London. Upon this anniversary, every street resounds with the clang of hall-door knockers. Rap follows rap, in rapid succession, the harsh and discordant tones of iron mingling with those of rich and sonorous brass, and giving a degenerate imitation of the brazen clangor of the trumpet, which formed the summons to the gate in days of old, and which, together with the martial music of the drum, appears to have been adopted, at a later period, by the Christmas-boxers, on St. Stephen’s Day. Pepys, in his Diary (1668), records his having been…

Source: Boxing Day Bonanza | A R T L▼R K


Actonbooks

Child abduction is a terrible heart wrenching crime, pure and simple. You let the child out of sight for a second and your baby never comes back. At least one thing’s for sure. At home — right there in front of your eyes — they are safe.pope2Well, that’s what Mr and Mrs Mortara thought, until the pope came and stole their son, with logic that would defy Kafka.

Three things counted against the Mortaras. The first mistake was that they lived in Bologna. The second was that it was the year 1858. Nowadays, kidnapping of small boys is not on the papal agenda (despite what parish priests have been doing). At that time though, the law was on the pope’s side. Well, papal law was and that was what worked in Bologna. This was before Italy’s unification and Bologna was situated one of the Papal States.

The third strike…

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