Henry Livingston, Jr.
1823 Troy Sentinel

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coming spring

NBC
Soft Cover from Amazon
Kindle Edition
Sample Pages
Poet You Always Loved
 
Kindle Edition
Sample Pages
Thrice Happy
Soft Cover from Amazon
Kindle Edition
Sample Pages
Mac's cover
Soft Cover from Publisher
Soft Cover from Amazon



Vocabulary


NEW RESEARCH DATA AREA:
For seven months in 2012 I worked with a researcher on the author attribution question. Long and wonderful days and nights of total obsession, and we restart in January. Learned so very much and loved every minute. He wants me to put up a data area to support his research and, until he publishes, I'm going to start with one of the data bases that really didn't win us anything. But, still, it's fun to look at fundamental data. And, yes, I do remember reading phone books as a kid.


BOOK ATTRIBUTING POEM TO HENRY:
2011: The Boston Globe has done an article on an illustrated book of "An Account of a Visit From St. Nicholas" from St. Nicholas Press that attributes the poem to Henry.

Publicity      


THE ARGUMENTS FOR HENRY:
The arguments for Henry as the author of A Visit From St. Nicholas are persuasive. They range from witnesses telling their children and grandchildre that they heard the poem read by Henry, to considerations of style. Don Foster's approach to the authorship issue was to compare the work of three people: Henry Livingston, Clement Moore, and the unknown author of the Christmas poem. His conclusion: the literary influences on Henry and the unknown author were almost identical; the influences on Moore completely different.

Smoking Gun?,   First Publication of NBC,   Timeline,   Clement Clark Moore's Poetry  


REINDEER NAMES:
Follow the meandering reindeer name trail from Dunder and Blixem to Donder and Blitzen.


THE QUEST TO PROVE HENRY'S AUTHORSHIP:
From 1879 on, the Livingston family tried to bring Henry's claim to the public, but their efforts were unsuccessful. In 1920, William Sturges Thomas took up the quest from his older relatives with far more success. But though he was able to make his case public, the public wasn't ready to believe the son of an Episcopalian archbishop had plagarized a piece of writing. W. Stephen Thomas took up the quest for his generation, and did convince Vassar President MacCracken, but that still didn't carry weight with the general public. In 1999, another descendant, Mary Van Deusen, brought the problem to Don Foster, an expert in attribution of anonymous works. With Don supplying the direction and the analysis, Don and Mary the low-level research, and Stephen Livingston Thomas making available the collected materials he had inherited, Don put a major stake into the ground for Henry's claim.


SCHOLARS FOR HENRY:
Jill Farringdon, a British researcher into authorship attribution by a different method than Don Foster's, subjected the writing of Henry Livingston and Clement Moore to her Cusum analysis. Her conclusions were that:
  1. the anonymous poem had been written by a single author
  2. The poem was clearly distinguishable from the utterance of Moore
  3. The poem was INDISTINGUISHABLE from the utterance of Major Livingston


WITNESS LETTERS:
While the world was falling in love with the Christmas poem, Henry's children were teaching their children that their grandfather had written it. By the time the Livingston family finally learned that Moore had taken credit for the poem in 1844, it was already 1860, Henry was long dead, and the original was ashes in a Wisconsin fire. From then on, descendants pooled their memories in the hope that someday someone could prove the case they didn't know how to prove.

Xmas Poem Variants


EARLY TEXT VARIATIONS:
As part of his investigation, Don Foster examined text variations in early publications to see if Moore's 1844 version owed anything to an earlier editor. And, indeed, it did. The major change in the poem, the reindeer name rhythm, was actually made by Norman Tuttle, the owner of the Troy Sentinel.

Santa Wheelbarrow


SOURCE MATERIALS:
Wherever practically possible, full texts of source materials are available. You'll find everything from a Clement Moore apologist's brushing off of Henry, to the defense of Henry's authorship by Dr. Henry Noble MacCracken, president of Vassar College.

Telephone


ANTIQUE POSTCARDS OF SANTA CLAUS:
Antique Christmas postcards are a favorite collectible. They are inexpensive, easy to store, and provide access to a wide range of artists from many countries. This collection includes photographic cards, Santas with non-red clothing, and some pretty crotchety Santas thrown in for good measure.

Chimney


ANTIQUE EDITIONS OF 'NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS':
While Christmas has always been a favorite subject of artists, A Visit From St. Nicholas has been absolutely inspirational. Early magazines published the poem with an engraving by Nash. Later Nash art appeared in publications devoted to only that Christmas poem.

Slideshow


PUBLICITY:
Don Foster's book, Author Unknown, hit the world with the force of a bomb. The New York Times published a story on the front page of an inside section, and took up a second page, as well. Two page spreads were the order of the day, from People Magazine to the Washington Post.

Fiction


FICTION:
A fictional account of Henry's writing of the Christmas poem.


A UNIQUE MUSIC VIDEO:
Making this video was a dream of mine for many years. The Trail Band recites the poem and what you see are the illustrations from my collection of vintage editions of the poem. I've been making music videos for 30 years and I am exceptionally proud of this one.

My videos have to be downloaded and unzipped. Many computers come with software to play the video. If yours doesn't, VLC has a free program that plays the large and clear mp2 versions, and the smaller mp4 ones.


"THE LIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS":
A charming stop motion animation film from WriteExpress. that attributes the poem to Henry.

Publicity      










Fun Activities for Christmas
  65 TV Xmas Music Videos
  Antique Illustrations to musical NBC Recitation
  CBS Good Morning America, 2000
  Comic Book Poetry with antique postcards
  The Poem's Story in Anapest
  Antique Illustrated Editions
   Antique Santa Postcards
And after the fun, fall asleep to Clement Moore's Poetry
        
NAVIGATION


All Henry Livingston's Poetry,     All Clement Moore's Poetry     Historical Articles About Authorship

Many Ways to Read Henry Livingston's Poetry

Arguments,   Smoking Gun?,   Reindeer Names,   First Publication,   Early Variants  
Timeline Summary,   Witness Letters,   Quest to Prove Authorship,   Scholars,   Fiction  


   Book,   Slideshow,   Xmas,   Writing,   The Man,   Work,   Illos,   Music,   Genealogy,   Bios,   History,   Games  


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