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Henry Livingston Jr. - Life Stories, Books, and Links
 
Biographical Information

Stories about Henry Livingston Jr.

Selected works by this author

Selected books about / related to this author

Recommended links
 
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
 
Picture of Henry Livingston Jr., author of 'An Account of a Visit From St. Nicholas' ('Twas the Night Before Christmas')
Henry Livingston Jr.
(1748 - 1828)

 
Category:  American Literature
 
Born:  October 11, 1748
Poughkeepsie,New York, United States
 
Died:  February 29, 1828
 
Related authors:
Clement C. Moore
 
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Henry Livingston Jr. - LIFE STORIES
 
 
12/23/1823     Santa Anapests
On this day in 1823 the Christmas classic, "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (commonly known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas") was published anonymously in the Troy, New York Sentinel. Twenty years and much popularity later, Clement C. Moore claimed and was accorded authorship; recent scholarship by 'forensic' literary critic Don Foster has cast this very much in doubt.
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SELECTED WORKS BY THIS AUTHOR
 
 
No books are presently listed for Henry Livingston Jr. in this category. Please contact us if you have a suggestion.
 
FIND BOOKS BY HENRY LIVINGSTON JR. AT Powell's Books
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SELECTED BOOKS ABOUT (or related to) THIS AUTHOR
 
 
Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous
by Don Foster
non-fiction
 
The Night Before Christmas
by Clement C. Moore
children
 
FIND BOOKS BY HENRY LIVINGSTON JR. AT Powell's Books
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A Mouse in Henry Livingston's House
Find a lengthy biography and account of the quest to prove Livingston's authorship of "Twas a Night Before Christmas." Includes poetry, information about the author's extended family, and Livingston's views on religion, politics, and other topics.

"The first publication of An Account of a Visit From St. Nicholas was in 1823 in the Troy Sentinel, when the poem appeared anonymously, submitted by someone who had taken the poem from the Clement Moore household. Henry Livingston was 74 years old at the time of the poem's publication, but still mentally active, and still writing clever and creative poems. Whether Henry or his family knew about that publication is unclear but, if they did, they wouldn't have thought much about it. Many of Henry's poems were published or reprinted anonymously...."
Education-World.com
Find a short lesson plan titled "Moore vs. Livingston: Who Really Wrote 'The Night Before Christmas'?"
HistoryCooperative.org
Read an essay from the journal Common-Place titled "There Arose Such a Clatter Who Really Wrote 'The Night before Christmas'? (And Why Does It Matter?)," which defends Moore's authorship of the poem, and responds to the claims of Don Foster, as presented in Author Unknown.

"Having attacked Moore's personality, ideology, and parental style, in the end Foster challenges the man's personal integrity as well. In a way, he needs to do so, since Moore did, after all, eventually have 'The Night before Christmas' published under his own name, a circumstance that would seem to offer the most powerful evidence of his authorship. A man could be dour and child-hating without being a liar to boot--and a serious liar Moore must have been if he did not really write the poem...."
The New York Times
Find a 2000 article titled "Literary Sleuth Casts Doubt on the Authorship of an Iconic Christmas Poem" which offers insight into the work of Don Foster (Author Unknown), the literary "forensic" scientist whose analysis of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" casts doubt on Moore's claim to authorship.

"The crux of Mr. Foster's case is in the literary roots of 'A Visit.' Whoever wrote it, Mr. Foster says, followed closely in the tradition of the 18th-century poets William King and Christopher Anstey. Both wrote popular, bawdy poems in an anapestic meter, with the accent on every third syllable. ... But Moore wrote only one undisputed anapestic poem, 'The Pig and the Rooster,' moralizing about laziness and arrogance. ... Henry Livingston, however, lifted frequently from such bawdy anapests, by Mr. Foster's analysis."
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June 26, 2017
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