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Christmas is a time for giving (and eating) and is no exception, so I've teamed up with those lovely people at the British Library to offer you all a chance to win some literary goodness this Christmas.

The British Library publishes a wide variety of books every year, which celebrate our culture and heritage. The British Library's Business Networking website have kindly donated two such books for this competition, and thanks go to them.

So, to the prize. One winner, drawn at random from all entrants, will win a set of two wonderful hardback books published by the British Library: The Gentleman's Art of Dressing, with Economy and Beauty, what it is and how to Retain it. Originally written in Victorian times, these books are hugely good fun and form a great Christmas present for Him or Her. The following synopses have been pulled from the British Library website:

The Gentleman's Art of Dressing, with Economy

The Gentleman's Art of Dressing, with Economy by A Lounger at the Clubs book cover
'Do not wear the same trousers two consecutive days. If you have a good stock, keep a roster, and let the first for duty take its turn. By this means the will always look fresh, and not hackneyed'

First published in 1876, The Gentleman's Art of Dressing with Economy is an indispensable guide to how to look good on a budget. Dressing as a gentleman, we learn, requires far more than throwing money as the latest fashions; a more prudent and knowledgeable approach is necessary.

Written by the enigmatic 'A Longer at the Clubs', the book takes the modern-day reader back to a time of fashionable London West End clubs in Piccadilly and Pall Mall where appearance was everything.

The combination of dry Victorian wit and genuinely sound advice makes this book the ideal gift for the modern-day man who is seeking to smarten his appearance whilst also tightening his financial belt.

Beauty, what it is and how to Retain it

Beauty, what it is and how to Retain it by A Lady book cover
 'At night the teeth should be cleaned with a very soft brush of badger's hair.'
'Hair should be brushed for twenty minutes night and morning'
'paint is used, we believe, by some absurd women, on the lips - we need scarcely say to their ultimate injury and always at the user's peril'

These are just a selection of the many wisdoms given in the essential guide for women, Beauty, what it is and how to Retain it. First published in 1873, the book rejects any notion that beauty of the physical body should be treated with indifference for fear of moral corruption, and sets out to celebrate beauty and to teach women how to achieve and retain it.

This book is an ideal gift for any woman who wishes to explore the Victorian beauty regime and perhaps learn some new tips from it.

How to Enter

To enter, all you need to do is put your name and a contact e-mail address (to notify the winner) in the widget below. Simple as that. 

! Please note, this competition is only open to UK residents !

The competition closes at midnight on 16th December 2012 and the winner will be notified on the 17th December 2012.

~ Good luck ~