Luxury Gifts for Christmas

5 min read

There’s no better time to indulge in a luxury literary gift than at Christmas. Whether looking for a first edition, early publication or newly printed volume, Country House Library has plenty to offer. 

This list displays ten luxury volumes, from book collections to rare editions. If you’re looking for a special gift this Christmas, we hope you’ll find the perfect title here. 


Jane Austen: The Complete Works, Jane Austen (2014)


“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”


This wonderful, clothbound collection of Jane Austen’s entire works is the perfect Christmas gift. FromPride and Prejudice to Persuasion,the collection is ideal for lovers of classic literature. Austen masterfully weaves together themes of love, marriage and friendship while satirising her own society. Her writing sparkles with vivid settings, spirited heroines, witty remarks and clever subtleties, making each novel a delight to read. 


Andersen’s Fairytales, Hans Christian Andersen (1915)


“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.”


Andersen’s fairytales have been adapted countless times since their initial publication in 1835. The stories step away from the formal structures of their time, instead creating many unexpected twists and turns. FromThe Snow Queen andThe Ugly Ducking toThe Little Mermaid andThe Emperor’s New Clothes,these fairytales are famous the world over. With dark and immersive plots and an often irreverent tone, the tales are utterly enchanting. Better suited for an adult audience, this early volume could be a wonderful luxury gift. 


Elephants Can Remember, Agatha Christie (1972)


“Elephants can remember, but we are human beings and...can forget.”

Agatha Christie’s gripping story calls upon Hercule Poirot to investigate the suspicious deaths of a husband and wife. There is however little evidence as the incident, originally ruled as suicide, happened twleve years ago. The book, in typical Christie style, is filled with mystery, humour and intriguing characters. While the tale isn’t gruesome, death is ever present. Readers will be hooked from the start. This lovely, first edition volume is the perfect gift for anyone who wishes to expand their literary collections. 


Early English Poetry, Macaulay Fitzgibbon (1887)


With poems from a variety of different authors, this collection is delightful from start to finish. Including works from poets such as John Barboue, William Dunbar, Richard Edwards, Robert Henryson, Bishop Still and others, there are many verses to enjoy. This particular volume opens with a detailed history of the early English poets and shares several of their works. Covering Lanyon to the early Elizabethan’s, there are many decades of poetry to enjoy. Lovers of poetry and poetic history would certainly enjoy receiving this volume as a festive gift. 


My Favourite Recipes, Ellice Handy (1960)


Filled with hard to find recipes, this homely cookery book is a true delight. Taking ideas from kitchens across the world, it is perfect for all those who wish to learn to cook. First published in 1952 in Singapore and Malaysia, it is a true classic. Born in Malaysia herself, Ellice Handy published the book in order to fund a new building for the Methodist school at which she worked. Sharing over 300 dishes from Europe, China, England, India and of course Malaysia and Singapore, this book is a wonderful guide for the would be cook. 


C.S. Lewis Collection, C. S. Lewis (1950’s-1970’s)


"Do not cite the Deep Magic to me Witch. I was there when it was written."

Containing all seven of C. S. Lewis’ wonderful works, this collection of magical tales has enchanted readers for decades. Filled with talking animals, mythical beasts, dangerous journeys and battles between good and evil, these volumes have certainly stood the test of time. 

The magical, snowy world that exists the pages is the perfect place to escape to at Christmas. This collection would make a wonderful gift for adults and children alike. So open the covers and let the adventure begin! 


A Heroine of the Sea, Bessie Marchant (Undated)


A Heroine at Seafollows the story of Maudie Belloc, a heroine of the Pacific and gritty female fisherman. Living a primitive, settler’s existence on Vancouver Island, she faces the practical challenges of everyday life. After her brother is accused of murder however, she undergoes a journey to prove his innocence and in doing so realises that being a woman is more than catching salmon. Truthful, practical and based around a journey of self-discovery, this book is a lovely and often forgotten read. 


Stories from Chaucer, J. Walker Mcspadden (1910)


"You each, to shorten the long journey, Shall tell two tales…” 

This rare volume boasts a beautifully decorative cover. With a red board and gold lettering, it is perfect for Christmas gifting. These retellings of the original Canterbury Tales, crafted by J. Walker Mcspadden, dates back to 1910. Mcspadden tells the stories in an amusing way, turning the original Middle English text into a more manageable translation. The sense of literary history isn’t too diminished however as original words such as ‘quoth’ remain. From the introduction and prologue to the tales and epilogue, Mcspadden successfully reignites Chaucer’s genius. 

Barmy in Wonderland, P. G. Wodehouse (1952)


“At Eton everyone had called him Barmy.”


This lovely first edition tells the story of Cyril Fotheringay-Phipps and his fascination with  a young lady named Miss Dinny Moore. After investing his fortune in a stage production, Cyril embarks on many comic adventures. Adapted from a play by George S. Kaufman, Wodehouse turns the story into a brilliant satire on theatrical life. With monstrous producers and vain stars of the stage and screen, the book is wonderfully hilarious. It is an enticing social comedy in which every word is a treasure. If you’re looking for a gift to make someone laugh, this is a great choice.


Books by the Foot, Red Collection, Various (N/A)


At Country House Library, we offer a number of books by the foot collections. This vintage red collection allows you to buy a selection of books that fit the measurements you choose. Ranging in variety, format, editions and titles, all you need to do is choose your measurements and we will pick out some red titles for you. This decorative collection is perfect for book lovers and the red covers are especially festive. 


In Summary


Christmas is a time for luxury, whether you enjoy chocolate and wine or prefer to escape between the pages of a good book. Whether browsing for yourself or for someone else, we hope this list has helped you narrow down the selection. 


If you’ve chosen a volume or two, you can buy them easily and have them wrapped in good time for Christmas! 

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