Ballads and Broadsides in Britain, 1500-1800  book cover
1st Edition

Ballads and Broadsides in Britain, 1500-1800

ISBN 9780754662488
Published April 7, 2016 by Routledge
374 Pages

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Book Description

Bringing together diverse scholars to represent the full historical breadth of the early modern period, and a wide range of disciplines (literature, women's studies, folklore, ethnomusicology, art history, media studies, the history of science, and history), Ballads and Broadsides in Britain, 1500-1800 offers an unprecedented perspective on the development and cultural practice of popular print in early modern Britain. Fifteen essays explore major issues raised by the broadside genre in the early modern period: the different methods by which contemporaries of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries collected and "appreciated" such early modern popular forms; the preoccupation in the early modern period with news and especially monsters; the concomitant fascination with and representation of crime and the criminal subject; the technology and formal features of early modern broadside print together with its bearing on gender, class, and authority/authorship; and, finally, the nationalizing and internationalizing of popular culture through crossings against (and sometimes with) cultural Others in ballads and broadsides of the time.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: straws in the wind, Patricia Fumerton and Anita Guerrini; Part I Re-Collecting and Re-Defining Ballads: Remembering by dismembering: databases, archiving, and the recollection of 17th-century broadside ballads, Patricia Fumerton; 'The art of printing was fatal': print commerce and the idea of oral tradition in long 18th-century ballad discourse, Paula McDowell; Child's ballads and the broadside conundrum, Mary Ellen Brown. Part II Strange News: Tradition, Journalism, and Monstrosity: Journalism vs. tradition in the early English ballads of the murdered sweetheart, Thomas Pettit; Do you take this hog-faced woman to be your wedded wife?, Tassie Gniady; Advertising monstrosity: broadsides and human exhibition in early 18th-century London, Anita Guerrini. Part III The Criminal Subject: Gender, Law, and Emotion: 'And I my vowe did keepe': oath making, subjectivity and husband murder in 'murderous wife' ballads, Simone Chess; Tracking the petty traitor across genres, Frances E. Dolan; Ballads and the emotional life of crime, Joy Wiltenberg. Part IV The Matter of Print: Class, Craft, and Authorship: 'The maiden's bloody garland': Thomas Warton and the elite appropriation of popular song, Steve Newman; 'Ne sutor ultra crepidam': political cobblers and broadside ballads in late 17th-century England, Angela McShane; William Hogarth's pregnant ballad sellers and the engraver's matrix, Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell. Part V Border Crossings: England, Scotland, and the New World: War and the media in Border minstrelsy: The Ballad of Chevy Chase, Ruth Perry; Heroines gritty and tender, printed and oral, late-breaking and traditional: revisiting the Anglo-American female warrior, Dianne Dugaw; Music and Indians in John Gay's Polly, Noelle Chao; Afterword: ballad futures, Bruce R. Smith; Selected bibliography; Index.

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Patricia Fumerton is Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Director of the online English Broadside Ballad Archive. Her many recent publications focus on the early modern "low." Anita Guerrini is Horning Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History at Oregon State University. She has published widely in the history of early modern science. Kris McAbee is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock and formerly Director of the English Broadside Ballad Archive. Her work explores Renaissance sonnet and ballad culture.


Prize: Shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Award, 2011, sponsored by The Folklore Society (UK) 'A hog-faced woman, murderous wives, blackface pirates - this rich collection of essays offers the latest word on British ballads from a wide spectrum of scholars in literature, ethnomusicology, folklore, and history. Required reading for anyone with a sophisticated interest in pre-1800 popular culture in Britain and America.' Leah Marcus, Vanderbilt University, USA 'Ballads and Broadsides makes a significant contribution to extant research on ballad scholarship.' Ethnomusicology 'This handsomely-produced volume brings together fifteen essays and an afterword, derived largely from the papers delivered at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Early Modern Center's Winter Conference of 2006... It will make widely available much material not included in EEBO and ECCO.' Rare Books Newsletter '... the history of collecting and evaluating ballads from Pepys to the digital age, is particularly useful as an introduction to the study of ballads and deserves to be widely read. ... In representing the interests of 'literature, women's studies, folklore, ethnomusicology, art history, media studies, the history of science, and history' the editors successfully promote the riches and the potential of EBBA.' The Library 'Overall, this collection offers a fulfilling variety of subjects and approaches, but at the same time there is also a sense of common purpose and a lovely sense of collegial engagement between the different scholars and essays... The book can be very highly recommended both for those with interest in individual topics covered and as a first-rate sample of directions in recent and on-going ballad scholarship.' Lied und Populäre Kultur 'It is clear that the contributors to this volume have made an effort to construct the book as a conversation between disciplines and fields, collecting essays much like the ballad collectors they examine. The result is a