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Rife with historical details and peppered with comic characters, The Golden Christmas remains a timeless tale of South Carolina's rich holiday heritage. Originally published in 1852, William Gilmore Simms's classic lowcountry romance chronicles the social customs and Christmas traditions of an antebellum plantation near Charleston. Drawing influence from Romeo and Juliet and A Christmas Carol, Simms centers his plot on the pride of a Huguenot family, the prejudice of an English family, and the plight of star-crossed lovers, Ned Bulmer and Paula Bonneau as they attempt to win the blessings of both feuding houses amid a festive and frantic holiday season. Simms populates his novel with a lively cast - a learned Northern professor, a young English nobleman, opinionated widows, a blustery plantation owner, a condescending servant, a pig-thieving coachman, and a good-hearted barrister and narrator, Dick Cooper, in search of a bride himself. Interwoven into the text are engrossing details about the lavish decorations and festivities that were hallmark of Christmas celebrations in the antebellum South. Vibrant fireworks, candles nestled in holly, games of whist and backgammon, Yule logs, eggnog, and a visit from Father Chrystmasse all play their parts as the narrative unfolds. Here, to, are accurate descriptions of dress, dialogue, commerce, recreation, cultural mores, and social hierarchy including a vivid tableau of a shopping trip to Charleston's King, Queen, and Meeting streets in the 1850s.