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9781643757087

The Dead of Winter Beware the Krampus and Other Wicked Christmas Creatures

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781643757087

  • ISBN10:

    1643757083

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2024-11-12
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
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Summary

Enter the dark side of Christmas: discover the monsters, witches, and nightmarish traditions behind one of the most celebrated holidays in the world

When we imagine the origins of Christmas, we picture halcyon images of mangers, glowing fireplaces, and snow-blanketed winter hills. But the holiday is celebrated during the darkest time of year in the Northern Hemisphere—a season so dark it has given rise to the most outlandish traditions imaginable.

In The Dead of Winter, Oxford-trained historian Sarah Clegg delves deep into the folkloric roots of Christmas in Europe, comparing their often-horrific past to the way they continue to haunt and entertain us now in the 21st century. Detailing the hideous masks and curling horns of "Krampus runs" in Austria, the fearsome horseheads of "hoodenings" in Southeast England, and the candle-crowned young witches of Finland's St. Lucy Festival, the author captures the wild revelry at heart of the winter madness.  

In Clegg’s fascinating investigation, these strange, wonderful traditions are cast in their illuminating historical context. And the closer we get to the dark magic and bright enchantment described in The Dead of Winter, the more we start to see how fun it might be to let just a bit of the ancient darkness in.

Author Biography

Sarah Clegg has a PhD in ancient history from the University of Cambridge. She has written for various publications including History Today and has appeared on podcasts such as "BBC History Extra" and "Hit The Ancients." Her first book, Woman’s Lore traced a group of seductive, child-snatching demonesses through folklore from ancient Mesopotamian to the present day and was shortlisted for the HWA Non-Fiction Crown. Sarah lives in London and works in publishing.

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