Bill Bryson comes out of retirement to write new book The Secret History of Christmas

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Bill Bryson stands at the “gates of hell”

Award-winning author Bill Bryson will temporarily come out of retirement to write a new book, The Secret History of Christmas.

The book will explore the origins of many popular Christmas traditions, including mince pies, A Christmas Carol, and the true identity of Santa Claus.

It will be released exclusively on the Audible audiobook platform in November and will be narrated by Bryson himself.

“Christmas is full of traditions and rituals that most of us have observed all our lives but often have no idea where they came from,” said Bryson, who announced that he had “retired of writing books in October 2020.

2015 Hospitality Book Award
Bryson is known for his best-selling non-fiction books that shed light on often overlooked or inaccessible subjects (Thom Atkinson/Wellcome/PA)

“Why is it called Boxing Day, for example?

“Why do we sing about the good King Wenceslas, who was not a king or maybe even good and had nothing to do with Britain? What’s the story behind Christmas cookies?

“Somebody had to decide these things. They cannot have happened by chance.

“So Christmas, and how it happened, is full of surprises. And that’s what this audio presentation is about.

Bryson is known for his non-fiction bestsellers that shed light on often overlooked or inaccessible subjects, including A Short History of Nearly Everything, Notes From A Small Island, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, and Shakespeare: The World. as a scene.

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Bryson was Chancellor of Durham University from 2005 to 2011 and has an on-campus library named after him (Ben Birchall/PA)

The former Times editor was Chancellor of Durham University from 2005 to 2011 and has an on-campus library named after him.

Aurélie De Troyer, Senior Vice President of International Content at Audible, said, “We are absolutely thrilled that Bill Bryson has come out of retirement to join Audible in this exclusive exploration of the weird and wonderful origins of Christmas traditions. .

“Bill is Audible’s favorite author and narrator, and we can’t think of anyone better to take listeners on this celebratory journey.”

The Secret Christmas Story will be available exclusively on Audible globally on November 10, 2022.

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