Good King Wenceslas by John Mason Neale is a faithful re-creation of the original publication, lavishly hand printed on custom stock and hard bound as a lasting keepsake. Limited edition to 60 signed and numbered.
The book features the classic Yuletide verse by Neale, plus original illustrations by Arthur J. Gaskin and an introduction by Arts & Crafts Movement leader William Morris.
The Clinker Press created Good King Wenceslas in 2007 in very limited quantities.
“Good King Wenceslas” is a popular Christmas carol about a king who goes out to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen (the second day of Christmas, December 26). During the journey, his page is about to give up the struggle against the cold weather, but is enabled to continue by the heat miraculously emanating from the king’s footprints in the snow. The legend is based on the life of the historical Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia (907–935), known in the Czech language as Svatý Václav.
In 1853, English hymnwriter John Mason Neale wrote the “Wenceslas” lyrics, in collaboration with his music editor Thomas Helmore, and the carol first appeared in Carols for Christmas-Tide, 1853. Neales’ lyrics were set to a tune based on a 13th century spring carol “Tempus adest floridum” (“The time is near for flowering”) first published in the 1582 Finnish song collection Piae Cantiones.