First published anonymously in a New York Newspaper called the Troy Sentinel on December 23, 1823, under the title “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Clement Clark Moore has long been credited as the author of this beloved yuletide poem, but literary scholar Don Foster now believes that the true writer was in fact a poet of Dutch heritage named Henry Livingston Jr. Livingston had passed away by the time Moore claimed authorship of the poem years later. In 1844, Moore published “A Visit from St. Nicholas” in an anthology of his own poetry, but Livingston’s family has always insisted that Moore is not the true author. However, even if Livingston’s family had never spoken up, Moore’s authorship rings a bit false. The structure of the poem is very different from anything else Moore had written, but the style and imagery do match Livingston’s writing. Most compelling of all are the Dutch references in the poem, including several reindeer names, such as “Donder” (meaning “thunder”) and “Blixem” (meaning “lightning”). These names were anglicized in later editions to the now-famous “Donner,” and “Blitzen.” As a nod to Livingston’s claim on the poem, we have left the original Dutch name “Donder” in our edition.
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"Charles Santore's breathtaking [books] include the nostalgia-laden The Night Before Christmas, a Snow White whose evil queen exhibits the kind of chilling sensuality we associate with Swinburne's poetry, The Wizard of Oz wonderfully reimagined, and a rumbustious Aesop's Fables, as well as half dozen other children's favorites."
Michael Dirda, The Washington Post