Glad Tidings of Struggle and Strife: A History of Protest Christmas Cards

Author(s): Llew Smith 

ISBN: 9781781551851
£10.49 £14.99

A written and illustrated history of protest in the United Kingdom since the mid nineteenth century through the medium of the Christmas Card.

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Protest Christmas Cards, highlighting political, industrial and social turmoil, have been produced since the mid nineteenth century. This book contains images from the collection of Llew and Pam Smith. They researched and collected such cards over a 40 year time-span. Llew Smith, who was formerly MP for Blaenau Gwent, together with his late wife Pam, has written an accompanying history of the struggles represented in the cards. The issues cover a 160 year time period – from the early days of the industrial revolution to the current coalition government and the Occupy movement.

The Christmas card with the themes of peace, goodwill, justice and hope were seen as an appropriate medium for individuals and groups to project similar aspirations. The cards portray the words and deeds of the brave, who, in the face of injustice, refused to remain silent and accept that nothing could be done. As Martha Gelhorn wrote : ‘An old and unending worldwide company, the men and women of conscience. Some are as famous as Tom Paine…..some are unknown……There have always been such people and always will be. If they win, it is slowly; but they never entirely lose. To my mind, they are the blessed proof of the dignity of man.’



FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 114 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 October 2012
ILLUSTRATIONS 260 colour illustrations



Llew Smith was MEP for South East Wales from 1984-1994 and subsequently MP for Blaenau Gwent, following on from Michael Foot, from 1992 – 2005. With his wife, Pam, they campaigned on the major issues of their time and many of these are highlighted in this book. Sadly, Pam died in 2008. Throughout their lives they always acted in the belief that if change was going to happen, benefiting the many not just the few, then this required all our energy, ideas and organizational skills. To leave it just to the (formal) leaders would, too often, result in failure. The book is a testimony to that belief.