Cryptic Cotton Famine Poem #1 Answer and Winner Announcement

Well done folks. There were many entries, but actually, although of all of the answers were correctly guessed across the range of respondents, not a single entry got every answer correct. So the four entrants who got 20 out of 21 questions correct had their names go into a hat for the draw and the winner was Timothy. He didn’t send his full details, but we have his email address and we will get the prizes to him.

The full poem (including extra lines not in the puzzle) is below. It was published in the North Cheshire Herald on the 25th of July 1863 and was composed by J. Lee.

Keep your eye out for more cryptic poem competitions!

North Cheshire Herald


‘A Voice Out of the Distress’

Parent of Good, how long, how long

Shall famine, sadness, be the theme of song?

The smokeless chimney and the silent loom

Reflect each day accumulated gloom.

Less hopeful seem the victims of distress,

Who hitherto have borne with noble manliness,

In mercy see this fratricidal strife,

That urges brother on to brother’s life.

Stay this sad war, and early may we see

The gentle reign of peace and industry.

We blame our country not, for neutral place;

For, otherwise, would be to her disgrace;

We know she yearns to give her children food,

And tho’ she gives not, still consults their good.

Oh! thou, who rul’st the nations with a nod,

To whom we can but pray – thou allwise God –

Bring, we beseech thee peace, and rest, and love,

Down from the angelic realms above.



Cryptic Cotton Famine Poem #1

In order to gear up for the imminent massive expansion of our Cotton Famine poetry database (look out for 300 more poems being added later this spring!) we are pleased to announce the inaugural Cryptic Cotton Famine Poem Competition.

Solve the cryptic clues to complete this extract from a genuine nineteenth-century Cotton Famine poem. Use your cryptic solving skills along with your knowledge of poetic and historical context. Don’t bother trying to Google it, this has never been digitised, and was last seen in a local newspaper in the 1860s. It is one of hundreds of poems being prepared for inclusion on the Poetry of the Lancashire Cotton Famine database.

 Message (don’t Tweet and give the game away!) the completed version of the poem including your 21 correct answers to @cottonpoetry, or send it to before April 24th 2020 to enter the draw to win a free Faustus Cotton Lords CD and limited edition fine print lyric sheet. The answer will be published here and on the Twitter account on April 24th along with the Twitter handle of the winner.

1          ‘A Voice Out of the ——–’

2,3       —— of —-, how long, how long

4,5       Shall ——, sadness, be the —– of song?

6,7       The ——— chimney and the silent —-

8,9       ——- each day accumulated —–.

10,11   Less hopeful seem the ——- of ——–,

12,13   Who hitherto have —– with —– manliness,

14,15   In ….. see this fratricidal ——,

16,17   That —– ——- on to brother’s life.

18,19   —- this sad war, and —– may we see

20,21   The gentle —– of peace and ——–.


  1. Misery from Diana’s lock of hair? (8)
  2. Trim part of the book carer (6)
  3. Benevolent deity with nothing inside (4)
  4. Renown about in dearth (6)
  5. What it’s about in the meadows? (5)
  6. Clean fuel and cut down (9)
  7. Imminent machine (4)
  8. Mirror in ref lecture (7)
  9. Dark weaver after gravity (5)
  10. Timothy’s after Queen’s sufferers (7)
  11. Sorrow Street, about in Norfolk town (8)
  12. Carried hear no longer carried (5)
  13. Aristocrat, the French aristocratic… (5)
  14. Clemency? Hear French thanks (5)
  15. Conflict is way common! (6)
  16. Encourages desires (5)
  17. Cold noise different to relative? (7)
  18. Remain supportive (4)
  19. Nobleman gets annual prompt (5)
  20. Hear drops of sovereignty (5)
  21. River attempt to work (8)


Video Documentary – Faustus and Jennifer Reid at Quarry Bank Mill

Back in August of 2019, Faustus and Jennifer Reid played at an event held at the historic Quarry Bank Mill Museum near Styal in Cheshire, and we took the opportunity to film the performances and to interview on film some of the people involved. The resultant mini-documentary is a very useful short introduction to the themes and texts associated with our project, based particularly on Faustus’s five-track CD, Cotton Lords, which was released earlier in 2019.

We were lucky to be able to call on some expert professionals to make the film, including director Rachel Jardine, cameraman Tom Slee, and editor Natasha Martin, all of whom have extensive experience  working with the BBC. The sound for the performance was mixed by Faustus’s engineer, Matt Williams, who also produced and engineered the Cotton Lords CD. Our thanks to go to all of these people for their contributions to this film, which we feel goes some way towards encapsulating many aspects of the research we have carried out over the last few years. Our thanks also go to the AHRC, whose funding made all of this possible. The funding period is over now, but we will be continuing to find poetry, and to add it to this site, with a further full launch of lots of new material scheduled for the end of April 2020. Included in this will be some fascinating American texts collected through the New York Public Library. Watch this space.

Cotton Lords EP Launches

Faustus at the Slaughtered Lamb (courtesy of Catherine Harvey Green)

Faustus at the Slaughtered Lamb (courtesy of Rachel Jardine)

Simon Rennie at the Slaughtered Lamb (courtesy of Rachel Jardine)


Last week traditional music group Faustus launched their exclusive EP CD release, Cotton Lords, at two events in London at the Slaughtered Lamb Inn, Clerkenwell, and in Manchester at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation Centre. The CD is the culmination of two years collaboration between the University of Exeter’s AHRC-funded Lancashire Cotton Famine poetry project and one of Britain’s most respected traditional music groups. Four of the five tracks on the CD are based on texts already featured on the database, but ‘Wrongs and Rights’ is part of the huge batch of poems still being processed for eventual inclusion. The other four tracks are ‘Cotton Lords’ (known as ‘Food or Work’ on the database), ‘Lancashire Operatives (Starvation)’, ‘Lancashire Factory Girl’, and ‘I Would This War Were Ended’. The CD is an important commemoration of one of the most devastating economic periods in Victorian history and the poetic response of ordinary people.  It includes a booklet of extensive notes giving an overview of the history of the period, an account of Faustus’s involvement with the project, detailed notes on each of the tracks, and lyrics. The CD also contains a bonus video of Faustus’s rousing adaptation of an 1840s Chartist poem, ‘Slaves’.

The launch events in Manchester and London, on the 13th and 15th of May 2019 respectively, were deeply appreciated by attendees, some of whom were Faustus followers and others who were encountering the band’s musicianship and dynamism for the first time. The focus on the five Cotton Famine tracks and a general theme of social commentary from working voices from the past made these events particularly interesting and many people stayed behind afterwards to ask questions of the band and the project’s Principal Investigator, Dr Simon Rennie, who had given a short contextual talk before each performance.  The project is extremely grateful for the involvement and support of Faustus – Benji Kirkpatrick, Saul Rose, and Paul Sartin, and sound engineer Matt Williams who produced the CD, and record company Westpark Music’s Ulli Hetscher. People in several countries are engaging with the texts the project has uncovered in various ways, but this collaboration with Faustus, and the legacy of this recording, is a particularly notable and distinctive outcome for our research.

You can buy Faustus’s Cotton Lords EP CD here:

Dr Simon Rennie

University of Exeter


Cotton Famine Christmas Countdown Day 12 – The Cotton Famine – Christmas 1862.

It’s the final day of our Christmas Countdown! Our event at Bolton Library is tonight at 6pm, so there’s just about time to register for tickets at We hope to see some of you there – as well as short talks, Jennifer Reid will perform the poems we’ve showcased over the last twelve days, and of course there’ll be some festive refreshments.

Our twelfth poem is Samuel Clarkson’s ‘The Cotton Famine – Christmas 1862’ from the Burnley Free Press and General Advertiser, March 1st 1863.


England! thy Christmas mirth is mixed with tears,

   While pinching penury and want despoil

   Ten thousand homes, where dwelt thy sons of toil;

Gone are thrifty fruits of struggling years.

Against the brighter past, thy doubts and fears

   See future clouds that darken like a foil;

   Yet seeds of joy find root in sorrow’s soil;

To Faith and Hope the coming dawn appears.

Endure and trust, while Charity divine

   Thy hungry feeds, and clothes thy shiv’ring poor;

Then, when the day of peace again shall shine

   With golden gladness o’er yon western shore,

A nobler thrice bless’d commerce shall be thine,

   Stain’d with the guilt of slavery no more.


Manchester, Dec. 22, 1862


This poem is already on our database, with a formal commentary by Simon. However, we thought it was worth including it here as it encapsulates many of the themes of the Christmas poetry we’ve highlighted throughout this Countdown, including Faith, Hope, and Charity, which are personified here tending to the poor, and perhaps restoring some Christmas joy. This poem is also particularly interesting, as Simon has noted, because it explicitly recognises Britain’s role in sustaining slavery through the reliance of the cotton industry on slave-produced raw material. Many poems we have found gloss over this, or celebrate Britain’s abolition of the slave trade without acknowledging the more indirect ways in which the nation supported the practice of slavery elsewhere. When we talk about this project, we often discuss how attitudes to the American Civil War among Lancashire workers were complicated, and, contrary to the popular myth, not all cotton operatives were in support of the North and emancipation. Nonetheless, the rousing end to this poem suggests that eradicating the evils of slavery could be a source of hope for suffering people, a means of restoring the dignity of Lancashire’s “sons of toil”.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these daily updates, and that you’ll join us in 2019 as these Christmas poems and more are released on the database. We’ve been absolutely thrilled by the response to the project in 2018 from all around the world, and would like to thank everyone who has helped us with research, events, and publicity this year. There’s lots more to come in the New Year, but until then we wish you all a very happy festive season!

Dr Ruth Mather, University of Exeter. 

Victorian Christmas card from Wikimedia Commons.

Cotton Famine Christmas Countdown Day 11: Merry Christmas Eve

Welcome to the penultimate day of our Cotton Famine Christmas Countdown, and the eve of our Christmas event! Free tickets for the event are still available here:

Today’s poem is ‘Merry Christmas Eve’ by the Chartist poet Gerald Massey. It was published in the Blackburn Times on December 26th, 1863.




Merry Christmas Eve! in the Palace where knavery

   Crowds all the treasures the fair world can render;

Where spirits grow rusted in silkenest slavery,

   And life is out-panted, in sloth and in splendour;

In gladness and glory, Wealth’s darlings were meeting,

   And jewel-claspt fingers linkt softly again;

New friendships were twining, and old friends were greeting,

   And twin hearts grew one, in God’s golder love chain.


Merry Christmas Eve! in a poor man’s grim hovel,

   There huddled in silence a famishing family;

Church bells were laughing in musical revel.

   They heard the loud mockery, with brows throbbing clammily;

All in the merry time there they sat, mourning —

   Two sons – two brothers – in penal chains bleeding;

Their hearts wandered forth to the never-returning,

   Who rose on their vision, pale, haggard, and pleading.


Merry Christmas Eve! for the rich, as in duty,

   Taste pander’d and ruby wine woo’d on the board,

Eyes smiled in feign’d glory, on birth, and on beauty;

   And lying lips flatter’d the Mammonite lord.

Love-kisses sobb’d out, ‘twixt the rollic and rout,

   And Hope went forth, reaping in long-promist treasure.

What matter, tho’ hearts might be breaking without?

   Their groans were unheard in the palace of pleasure.


Merry Christmas Eve! but the stricken ones heard

   No neighbourly welcome, no kind  voice of kin;

They look’t at each other, but spake not a word,

   While through crevice, and cranny, the sleet drifted in.

In a desolate corner, one, hunger-kill’d, lay,

   And the mother’s hot tears were the bosom-babe’s food.

What marvel, O Statesmen, what marvel, I pray,

   Such misery nurseth Crime’s dark viper-brood?


O men, angel-imaged in Nature’s fair mint,

   And is it for this, ye were fashioned dvine?

Ah, where’s the god-stamp – Immortality’s print?

   We are tyrants and slaves, knit in one tortured twine;

That a few, like to gods, may stride over the earth,

   Millions, born to heart murder, are given in pawn;

When will the world quicken for Liberty’s birth,

   Which she waiteth, with eager wings beating the dawn?


False priests, dare ye say ‘tis the will of your God,

   (And shroud the Christ’s message in dark sophistry,)

That these millions of paupers should bow to the sod?

   Up, up, trampled hearts, it’s a lie! it’s a lie!

They may carve “State” and “Altar” in characters golden,

   But Tyranny’s symbols are ceasing to win;

Be stirring, O people, your scroll is unfolden,

   And bright be the deeds ye emblazon within.



Newspapers like the Blackburn Times often reprinted poems from earlier collections, as they have done here with Gerald Massey’s ‘Merry Christmas Eve’. This is one of Massey’s earliest poems, originally published in 1850 as ‘’Twas Christmas Eve.’ Nonetheless, the poem feels relevant to the circumstances of the Cotton Famine because of its discussion of poverty and social injustice. In alternate stanzas, Gerald Massey paints contrasting pictures of Christmas Eve in rich and poor households respectively. Though it is not an abolitionist poem, slavery is evoked as a metaphor for the condition of the working classes, and its repeated mention may well have felt significant in the 1860s given the context of the American Civil War. Unlike many of the Christmas poems we have featured, ‘Merry Christmas Eve’ does not contrast wealth and poverty in a call for charity, but rather to inspire political action among the working classes with the rousing final lines: “Be stirring, O people, your scroll is unfolden, / And bright be the deeds ye emblazon within.”

For anyone interested in Massey’s life and work, and in Victorian working-class writers more generally, we highly recommend Ian Petticrew’s excellent website.

Dr Ruth Mather, University of Exeter

A Victorian Christmas Card, from Nova Scotia Archives on

Cotton Famine Christmas Countdown Day 10: Remember the Poor

Welcome to day 10 of our Cotton Famine Christmas Countdown! To get us in the festive (sort of) spirit, we’re featuring a seasonal Cotton Famine Poem every day in the run up to our special Christmas event with Jennifer Reid on 20th December. Free tickets for the event are available here:

Today’s poem is by Edwin Waugh, probably the best known dialect poet of the period (though this poem is in standard English). It was published in the Bolton Chronicle on January 24th, 1863.




As I sat by the fire on a bleak winter’s day,

When the woods and fields were forlorn;

When the waters were candied all over with ice,

And the keen blast wailed in the thorn;

Across by my window the thick falling snow,

As it drifted upon the wind.

Threw a cold-looking gloom o’er my warm little room

And awoke sad thoughts in my mind.


A small bird came begging to my window sill,

And the snow-drift powdered his breast;

He chirped and he peeped till I threw him some crumbs,

 Which he took up aloft to his nest;

Then I shut down the window to keep out the wind,

And I paced o’er my parlour floor;

And I looked at the fire; and I said with a sigh,

Now’s the time to remember the poor!


Creeping dose to my hearth-stone, so cosy and warm,

Where the wild cold winds I defied.

I began to muse on the sick and forlorn,

And the poor folks that roam outside;

And, trembling to think what the thousands that

In their comfortless nooks endure,

I looked through the window again, and I said—

   “Now’s the time to remember the poor!”


As yon pale workman creeps through the snow-muffled street,

    ‘Mid the white flakes whirling past,

His frost-bitten bands in his garments so thin

He is hiding away from the blast:

Now he halts by yon kitchen, whose savoury steams

     Many a famishing wand’rer allure ;

Then he glides on again like a ghost, through the snow;—

“Now’s the time to remember the poor!”


And now, from a corner, that fends off the storm,

He peers, with despair in his eye,

At the fire-lighted windows the warm chimney-top,

And the coach rolling merrily by;

Once more, he goes murmuring slow on his way,

“Lord, how long will this endure?”

And the snow-shroud whirls wild round its shivering prey, —

“Now’s the time to remember the poor!”


How little they think, who are cheerful and warm,

While they laugh at the wintry tide,

What the folk that are hungry, the sick and the sad,

In their cold, dark corners abide :

But this life it is short, both to high and to low,

     And there’s nought upon earth that’s sure :

We were bare when we came, and bare we most go,—

“Now’s the time to remember the poor!”


Waugh’s poem does not specifically mention the Cotton Famine, but has relevance to the period due to the familiar themes of poverty and charity. As in many of the other Christmas poems, the comforts of a well-to-do home are contrasted with the “comfortless nooks” of the unfortunate poor. Waugh emphasises the impact of the cold, repeatedly referring to the snow, ice, and keen wind that compound the misery of a poorly dressed worker with little to spare for blankets or fuel. Waugh himself had working-class origins, though by the time of the Cotton Famine, he was able to make a living from his writing. This is from the point of view of someone comfortably off, rather than in the voice of the cold, hungry worker, and is perhaps therefore aimed at those who were able to “remember the poor” through charitable acts.

The version of this poem published in Waugh’s Poems and Songs (1889) notes that it is composed ‘To an old English melody’, and thus was intended to be sung rather than simply recited.

Dr Ruth Mather, University of Exeter.

A Victorian Christmas Card, from Nova Scotia Archives on

Cotton Famine Christmas Countdown Day 9: A Christmas Carol for 1862

Welcome to the ninth day of our Cotton Famine Christmas Countdown! To get us in the festive (sort of) spirit, we’re featuring a seasonal Cotton Famine Poem every day in the run up to our special Christmas event with Jennifer Reid on 20th December. Free tickets for the event are available here:

Today’s poem was originally published in the Cornhill Magazine, and reprinted in the Bolton Chronicle on December 27th, 1862. The commentary was written by Olivia Galyer, a student on the ‘Poetry and Politics’ module in the Department of English at the University of Exeter.


By George MacDonald

From Cornhill Magazine for January


The skies are pale, the trees are stiff,

   The earth is dull and old;

The frost is glittering, as if

   The very sun were cold.

And Hunger fell is linked with Frost,

   To make man grey and wan:

Come Babe, from heaven, or we are lost;

   Be born, O child of man.


The children cry, the women shake,

   The strong men stare about;

They sleep when they would keep awake –

   They wake ere night is out.

For they have lost their heritage –

   No sweat is on their brow:

Come, Babe, and bring them work and wage;

   Be born, and save us now.


Across the sea, beyond our sight,

   Roars on the fierce debate;

Down go the men in bloody fight,

   The women weep and hate.

And in the right be which that may,

   Surely the strife is long:

Come thou, O Child, thy lowly way,

   And right will have no wrong.


Good men speak lies against thine own –

   Tongues quick, and hearing slow;

They will not let thee walk alone,

   And think to serve thee so:

If they the children’s freedom saw,

   In thee, the children’s king,

They would be still with holy awe,

   Or only speak to sing.


Some neither lie, nor starve, nor fight,

   Nor yet the poor deny;

But in their hearts all is not right –

   They often sit and sigh.

Earth cries with all her nights and days,

   Grey frosts and golden corn;

The travailing creation prays:

   O Son of God, be born.



In this carol George MacDonald describes the harsh effects of the Lancashire Cotton Famine on innocent people who appear powerless to improve their poverty-stricken lives. Men having been denied the ability to work are left emasculated while the low temperature of the environment appears to mirror the low spirits of the people in a form of pathetic fallacy. The cold weather compounds the suffering of the people with their hunger hastening the aging process of men. Against these desperate conditions the speaker pleads for the intervention of religion, calling for the birth of Christ in a repeated refrain to fulfil his role as the savior of humankind by providing these people with the ability to work and earn money.

Formally the carol has a regular ABAB rhyme scheme and is comprised of five octet stanzas with the lines in each stanza alternating between iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter. The only time the meter changes is in the seventh line of the first stanza when the speaker questions whether humankind is ‘lost’ with the shift in meter reflecting this sense of loss. McDonald makes reference to the destructive consequences of the American Civil War both in America, with the country’s men fighting, and internationally with the American supply of raw cotton to Europe cut off devastating the Lancashire community as a result. The fact that ‘the strife is long’ is important with the cotton that had already been supplied to Lancashire used up, and for prolonging the suffering of the Lancashire people with ostensibly ‘good’ men resorting to telling lies for their own benefit. The speaker highlights in the final stanza how even those who are not directly implicated by the famine can acknowledge that it is ‘not right’ with even the Earth personified as crying.

Olivia Galyer, University of Exeter

A Victorian Christmas Card, from Nova Scotia Archives on


Cotton Famine Christmas Countdown Day 8: A Christmas Carol

Welcome to the day 8 of our Cotton Famine Christmas Countdown! To get us in the festive (sort of) spirit, we’re featuring a seasonal Cotton Famine Poem every day in the run up to our special Christmas event with Jennifer Reid on 20th December. Free tickets for the event are available here:

Today’s anonymous poem is ‘A Christmas Carol’ from the Blackburn Times, December 20th, 1862.


IT is Christmas! and I’m thinking

We might make the poor to feel

Happy, in this time of friendship

That will o’er the wealthy steal.

What of Christ, our risen brother,

Who the multitude did feed

With the loaves and two small fishes,

When of food they were in need?

Dare we say the loaves and fishes

Now are taken in His name?

And the simple Christian gospel

Is not still the very same

That the weary and forsaken

Turn’d to with a loving part,

While the Everlasting Father

Heal’d the broken, bleeding heart?

Oh! I read how one Zaccheus,

Short of stature, climb’d a tree,

To see the Teacher as He pass’d,

And evoked His sympathy.

Salvation to his house had come

When Zaccheus, for the poor,

Gave half his goods; and a four-fold

Those he’d wrong’d in craft before.

Where the spirit, wounded, broken,

Silent suffers in this woe,

By your Christian Christmas bounty

Let your alms in secret flow

From the halls where plenty reigns,

From the mites that might be saved,

A merry Christmas, and God bless you,

For the Blackburn well-behaved.


Today’s poem follows familiar themes in Christmas Cotton Famine Poetry, with a focus on religion and charity. As in many of the other poems we’ve featured, the joys and comforts of Christmas for the wealthy and its potential trials for the poor are contrasted, and the poet goes on to draw on Biblical teaching to encourage some redistribution of resources. Interestingly, the tone towards the rich is one of disapproval, and the wording suggests that they are due some of the blame for the condition of the poor. References are made to the loaves and fishes being ‘taken’ from the people, and to Zaccheus the tax collector, regarded as a sinner until his faith in Christ led him to seek redemption by returning dishonest earnings and giving to the poor. Finally, there is a warning against ostentatious giving, so we know that the envisioned ‘well-behaved’ of Blackburn are those who help the poor through pure motives rather than to gain social approval.

Though this poem is described as a carol, unfortunately there is no further information provided about any musical accompaniment or a suggested tune.

Dr Ruth Mather, University of Exeter.

A Victorian Christmas Card, from Nova Scotia Archives on

Cotton Famine Christmas Countdown Day 7: Christmas in the Hard Times

Welcome to the seventh day of our Cotton Famine Christmas Countdown! To get us in the festive (sort of) spirit, we’re featuring a seasonal Cotton Famine Poem every day in the run up to our special Christmas event with Jennifer Reid on 20th December. Free tickets for the event are available here:

Our poem for today is ‘Christmas in the Hard Times’ from the Preston Guardian, published on December 6th 1862. The commentary comes from Bess Amelia Yeager, a student on the ‘Poetry and Politics’ module in the Department of English at the University of Exeter.


Thou art coming, hale and hoary

    Christmas, king of cheer and gladness;

But there’s dimness in thy glory,

And thy joy is tinged with sadness.

Yet we’ll welcome thee with pleasure,

    In the hope of better days;

And no sad or mournful measure

    Shall inspire our Christmas lays.

Welcome! joy inspiring spirit,

    Brooding o’er the dying year;

May mankind from thee inherit

    Peace, with its attendant cheer.

Driving back the shade of sorrow,

    Still we cry, “All hail to thee!”

Be thou like the coming morrow

    Which shall set the prisoner free.

Bless the rich with noble feeling,

    That the rich may bless the poor;

Keep the wasted hand from stealing;

Keep gaunt famine from the door.

When thou’st wooed all men with gladness,—

    When thou’st opened plenty’s store,—

Bind the fiends of war and madness—

    Keep them prisoners evermore.

Then from every hill and valley

    Peace and happiness shall smile;

Joy shall light each street and alley

    Through our patient, generous isle.

TAYLOR’S, too, with beauty glowing,

    In the styles which all admire,

Will be found on all bestowing

    Beauteous, good, and cheap attire!

CommentaryWritten in melodic trochaic tetrameter with some lines omitting the last syllable of the pattern, this poem functions as both an encouragement to celebrate the gifts of Christmas and an advertisement for a clothing store. The narrator addresses the personification of Christmas with words of optimism despite “dimness in [its] glory.” A capitalistic tone (“Bless the rich with noble feeling, / That the rich may bless the poor”) emerges halfway through the poem; this eventually culminates in a call to patronize E. Taylor’s clothing store in the last four lines. Rather than ending with a tone of universal solidarity against poverty and strife, the poem appeals to a class who can afford to shop at a clothing store like Taylor’s and implores Christmas to keep “the wasted hand” from stealing, and keep “gaunt famine” from the door.

Bess Amelia Yeager, University of Exeter

Victorian Christmas card from Wikimedia Commons.