Kennedy and Boyd

Four Books of Choice Old Scottish Ballads, 1823-1844: I. A Ballad Book; II. A North Countrie Garland; III. The Ballad-Book; and, IV. A New Book Of Old Ballads. (1868)
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By Sharpe, Charles Kirkpatrick; Maidment, James; Kinloch, George Ritchie (Editors)
ISBN 1849210632
SERIES Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe Collection
Paperback  404 pages
Published 7 January 2011
UK Price £16.95   Order from
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This volume - first published in Edinburgh in 1868 - contains a set of four Ballad books, each originally circulated privately among friends and collectors of literary rarities. Their publication in this format was in response to an expansion of interest in Ballads in the nineteenth century. Three Editors of Ballads are featured, each of whom devoted much time and labour to gathering, and thus rescuing, unwritten Scottish traditional, romantic and political songs and tales. Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe (1781-1851). A Ballad Book (1823) contains forty-three ballads, from Sharpe's definitive versions of known ballads and songs to others presented for the first time, including 'Glasgow Peggie' and 'Fair Margaret of Craignargat'. The original preface notes that some were, however, 'suppressed on account of their grossness'. James Maidment (1793-1879) is represented by two collections. A North Country Garland (1824) of sixteen ballads is described as a slim, but 'considerable addition to our catalogue of Ancient Ballads', among them 'Bonny John Seton' and 'Eppie Morrie'. A New Book of Old Ballads (1844) recovered early versions of ballads first transcribed by William Hamilton of Airdrie, Allan Ramsay, and others as well as 'fragments from scarce Broadsides'. There are twenty ballads in all. George Ritchie Kinloch (1796-1877). The Ballad Book (1827) is noted for focussing on accurate transcription from recitation rather than editorial criticism, and for the biography of Charlie Lesly - 'Mussel Mou'd Charlie' - which prefaces the thirty songs and ballads. This reprint includes the original ilustrations and portraits of Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe and of Charlie Lesly, 'the celebrated Ballad-Singer in Aberdeen'.

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