Norfolk: New Directions, 1954. 1st Edition. Small octavo, publisher's red and black printed paper-covered boards, title-page and chapter headings printed in red, original dust jacket.
First separate printing of Thomas's classic Christmas story: "Always on Christmas night there was music. An uncle played the fiddle, a cousin sang 'Cherry Ripe,' and another uncle sang 'Drake's Drum.' It was very warm in the little house. Auntie Hannah, who had got on to the parsnip wine, sang a song about Bleeding Hearts and Death, and then another in which she said her heart was like a Bird's Nest; and then everybody laughed again; and then I went to bed." Issued the year after Thomas's premature death, age 39, at St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village; originally published earlier the same year in the collection Quite Early One Morning. Early owner's name in pencil to front free endpaper. Faint tanning to board edges; unclipped dust jacket with chipping to spine-ends and staining to rear panel. Withal, a very nice copy of a fragile book. Item #625