The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume II. The End of the Middle Ages.

XVII. Ballads


Brandl, Alois, A good account of English and Scottish ballads in Paul’s Grundriss der germanischen Philologie, vol. II, Strassburg, 1893.

Child, F. J. (ed.). The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. 5 vols., 10 parts. Boston and New York, 1882–98. Practically a new work, and in no sense a second edition of Child’s earlier collection in eight vols., Boston, 1857–8. The fifth volume (1898) contains a bibliography (pp. 503–566), which, with the Sources of the Texts (pp. 397–405), the Titles of Collections of Ballads (pp. 455–469), indexes, lists of ballad-airs and tunes and other helps, furnishes a complete apparatus for the student of the particular subject. [The introduction to each of the separate ballads, with the Additions and Corrections, gives a bibliography for the study of that ballad in all its relations.] There is, however, no corresponding bibliography of the ballad at large; for Child did not live to write his greatly desired general introduction.

Child, F. J. (ed.). Article on Ballads, in Johnson’s Cyclopaedia. New York, 1893. While the author wished no stress to be laid upon this article with regard to general questions, it gives a clear account of the scope and connections of British ballads and a brief description of those of other lands.

Courthope, W. J. A History of English Poetry. 1895. Vol. I, chap. XI, The Decay of English Minstrelsy. Defends minstrel authorship, though seemingly a lost cause.

Gummere, F. B. Introduction to Old English Ballads. Boston, 1894. Subsequent editions unchanged: it contains an account of ballad criticism in England and Germany. See also, by the same writer, The Ballad and Communal Poetry, Child Memorial volume (v) of the Harvard Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature, Boston, 1896; Primitive Poetry and the Ballad, in Modern Philology, 1, Chicago, 1903–4; and The Popular Ballad, 1907.

Hales, J. W. and Furnivall, F. J. (ed.). Percy Folio Manuscript. 3 vols. and a supplement. 1867–8. This made possible the collection now recognised as final.

Hecht, H., sums up the Neuere Literatur zur Englisch-schottischen Balladendichtung in Englische Studien, XXXVI, 1906.

Henderson, T. F. Revised edition of Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. 4 vols. Edinburgh, 1902. With a general preface and particular introductions which tend to trace each ballad to individual authors like Burns and Scott.

Kittredge, G. L. Introduction to the one-volume edition of Child’s Ballads. Edited by Mrs. Sargent and himself. Boston, 1904. This volume includes one or more versions of practically all the ballads, and the introduction is a clear exposition of the doctrine that popular ballads really belong to the people.

Lang, A. Article on Ballads, in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th edition. Lang has expressed his opinion on the ballad-question in recent papers; in particular may be noted his discussion of the ballad Auld Maitland in Folk Lore, XIII, 191 ff. (1902), and his argument for communal authorship, ibid. XIV, 147 ff. (1903).

Sidgwick, F. Popular Ballads of the Olden Time. 1903, 1904, 1907. 3 series. 2 vols. issued so far. The introduction inclines to the theory that ballads belong to the people, but makes allowance for opposing views such as those of G. Gregory Smith and T. F. Henderson.

Smith, G. Gregory. The Transition Period. 1900. Chap. VI.

Older criticism, foreign and domestic, of English ballads is summarised in F. B. Gummere’s Introduction to Old English Ballads cited above. For admirable discussion of ballad poetry in other lands see the introduction to Constantino Nigra’s Canti Popolari del Piemonte, Turin, 1888, pp. xi–xxxviii and Gaston Paris, De l’Ètude de la Poèsie Populaire, in Melusine, I, 1 ff. Opposed to their doctrine is John Meier, whose Kunstlieder im Volksmunde, Halle, 1906, indicates its theory by its title, and is not very far from Henderson’s point of view. It must be remembered, finally, that the majority of the poems published by the Ballad Society, such as street-songs, broadsides and popular ditties of every sort, belongs not to the subject of this chapter, but to journalism.

The following books may also be consulted:

Addison, J. The Spectator. Nos. 70, 74. For Chevy Chase, etc.

Alligham, W. The Ballad Book. 1865 ff.

Aytoun, W. E. The Ballads of Scotland. 2 vols. 1858 ff.

Bell, R. Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England. 1857.

Buchan, P. Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1828. Reprinted, 1875, etc.

Chambers, R. Scottish Ballads and Scottish Songs. 3 vols. Edinburgh, 1829.

Chappell, W. and Ebsworth, J. W. The Roxburghe Ballads. 9 vols. (27 parts). 1871–99.

—— Popular Music of the Olden Time. 2 vols. 1855–9. New ed., Wooldridge, H. E. 2 vols. 1893.

—— A collection of national English airs…and essay on English Minstrelsy. 1840.

Davidson, T., in Chamber’s Encyclopaedia. Vol. 1, p. 680. 1888.

Dixon, J. H. Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England. Percy Soc. 1846.

Dixon, J. H. Scottish traditional versions of ancient ballads. Percy Soc. 1845.

Evans, T. Old Ballads. 2 vols. 1777. Ed. Evans, R. H. 4 vols. 1810.

Fehr, B. Die formelhaften Elemente in den alten Engl. Balladen. Basel, 1900.

Finlay, J. Scottish Historical and Romantic Ballads. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1808.

Flügel, E. Zur Chronologie des Engl. Balladen. Anglia, XXI, 312 ff.

Fränkel, L. Zur Gesch. von Robin Hood. Eng. Stud. XVII, 316.

Gilchrist, J. A collection of Scottish Ballads, etc. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1815.

Görbing, F. Beispiele von realisierten Mythen in den engl. u. schott. Balladen. Anglia, XXIII, 1 ff.

Grundtvig, S. H. Danmarks gamle Folkeviser. 5 vols. Copenhagen, 1853 ff.

Gutch, J. M. A Lytyll Geste of Robin Hode. 2 vols. 1847.

Hales, J. W. Folio Litteraria. 1893. For Chevy Chase.

Herd, D. Ancient and Modern Scots Songs, etc. Edinburgh, 1769. 2nd ed. 1776.

Jamieson, R. Popular Ballads and Songs. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1806.

Johnson, J. The Scots Musical Museum. 6 vols. Edinburgh, 1787–1803. Ed. Stenhouse, W. and Laing, D. 4 vols. 1853.

Kinloch, G. Ancient Scottish Ballads. 1827.

Laing, D. Select Remains of the Ancient Popular Poetry of Scotland. 1822. Ed. Small, J. 1885.

—— Early Popular Poetry of Scotland and the Border. 1822–6. Ed. Hazlitt, W. C. 2 vols. 1895.

Lang, A. Myth, Ritual and Religion. 2 vols. 1887.

—— In Quarterly Review, July, 1898; Chambers’s Cyclopaedia of English Lit., vol. 1, pp. 520 ff., 1901; Blackwood’s Magazine, CLVIII, Sept., 1895.

Lemcke, C., in Jahrbuch f. rom. u. engl. Lit. IV, 1, 142, 297 ff.

Maidment, J. A North Countrie Garland. Edinburgh, 1824.

—— Scottish Ballads. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1868.

Motherwell, W. Minstrelsy, Ancient and Modern. Glasgow, 1827.

Newell, W. W. Games and Songs of American Children. New York, 1883.

Percy, T. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. 3 vols. 1765. Ed. Wheatley, H. B. 3 vols. 1876–7. Ed. Schröer, A. 2 Hälften. Heilbronn, 1889–93.

Pinkerton, J. Scottish Tragic Ballads. 1781. See also Select Scottish Ballads, 2 vols., 1783.

[Phillips, A.] A Collection of Old Ballads. 3 vols. 1723–5.

Ramsay, A. The Ever Green. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1724.

—— The Tea Table Miscellany. 1724 ff. 4 vols.

Reliquiae Antiquae, ed. Halliwell, J. O. and Wright, T., for the Judas ballad (p. 144).

Ritson, J. Ancient Songs and Ballads. 2 vols. 1792. Ed. Hazlitt, W. C. 1877.

—— Ancient Popular Poetry. 1791. Ed. Goldsmid, E. 1884.

—— Scotish Song. 2 vols. 1794.

—— Select Collection of English Songs. 1783. Ed. Park, T. 3 vols. 1813.

Romantic Scottish Ballads: their epoch and authorship. n. d.

Russell, J. The Haigs of Bemersyde. Edinburgh, 1881. (Chap. XIV for social conditions of Old Border life, is quoted by Davidson, T., in Chambers’s Encyclopaedia.)

Saintsbury, G. A History of English Prosody. Vol. I. 1906.

Sharpe, C. K. A Ballad Book. Edinburgh, 1823. New ed. by Laing, D., 1880.

Scottish Minstrel, The. 1808.

Songster, Universal, The, or museum of mirth. 3 vols. [1825–6.]

Veitch, J. History and Poetry of the Scottish Border. 1878. New ed. 2 vols. Glasgow, 1893.

Whitelaw, A. The Book of Scottish Ballads. Glasgow, 1814.

See also under Ballads, in W. P. Courtney’s Register of National Bibliographyor catalogues of broadsides, etc.

F. B. G. &. A. R. W.