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Shadows on the Snow: A Christmas Story


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In presenting this Christmas Story to the public, the Author hopes for welcome as much from the kindly feeling engendered by the time, as from any merit of the work itself. It has long been a matter of surprise to him, that Christmas in this and other Colonies should have been so often allowed to pass without some literary effort being made to recognise its genial influence1. If the publication of this book serves as a link in the chain that binds the hearts of residents in the Colonies to their home-lands, his ambition will be satisfied2.

The Author desires to thank Mr. N. Chevalier for the generous readiness with which he has contributed, by his artistic pencil, towards the success of this Christmas Story. Had the Author's acquaintance with page ii Mr. Chevalier been of longer duration, the reader would certainly have had the benefit of a larger number of Illustrations.

The Author must cease to speak of his work and of himself, but, in doing so, he would earnestly repeat the words addressed to millions of readers by a greater writer than the Colonies can hope to produce—“May we meet again!”

Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand,
Christmas, 1865.

1 This novel was one of the only of its time to discuss Christmas in the context of the working-class, aside from Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

2 Rather than writing about Christmas with a religious connection, Farjeon values the ability of the holiday to connect people with their family and homeland. This was important for those working on the colonies during this time away from their homes, like Farjeon was away from his home in England while he was working in Australia and New Zealand.