Monday, October 7, 2013

Cuneo Christmas Book Collection

I've written here before about the Cuneo Christmas books I've collected over the past couple of years.  The books were published by Cuneo Press in Chicago from 1942-1981(?), and are wonderful collections of stories, poems, and artwork.  Each book has a brief introduction by John Cuneo.  I'm guessing they were distributed as some sort of subscription, or as an annual premium of some sort.  I haven't been able to find much information about them, but they are absolutely splendid.

I've managed to pick up several more editions of the books, including all eight published in the 1940's.  Here are a few pictures from the inaugural edition, from 1942:


Here is a picture of the spines of the first four, 1942-1945.

And here is a picture from the 1943 edition:

Each one was hardbound, gilt edge, and published with pages uncut, in the style of much older books.  Many that I have bought still have uncut pages, so I have to use a sharp blade to cut the page edges in order to read them.

Not every story in every book is Christmas-themed, though I believe that each book does contain at least one.   Many, though, have all Christmas stories and poems.

Each one, starting in 1943, closes with the Pope's Christmas Broadcast from the previous year.  It's amazing to read some of the messages from the Popes through the years.  Many times the messages still resonate, and apply to current events even though the words were spoken 60 or  more years ago. 

These are marvelous books, and will provide me with excellent holiday reading for many years to come.

I'm missing only the 1950, 1953, and 1978-1981 editions.  I'll find them for a good price one of these days!