Welcome to The British Literary Ballads Archive, a site dedicated to a unique genre of literary imitations of traditional ballads. The site contains a growing archive of over 700 poems, as well as short biographical sketches of the poets who wrote them.

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Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)



English poet, essayist, journalist and critic, born in London, 19 October 1784. Hunt, a poor clergyman’s son, was educated at Christ’s Hospital and made great progress with his literary knowledge through extensive reading, as had Keats. At that time he created some poems such as “Winter” and “The Fairy King”, imitating Thomson and Spenser, his favorite poets, which were included in Juvenilia published after graduation from Christ’s Hospital. Many of his poems appeared in the Morning Chronicle and other publications.

He started a new journal, The Examiner, with his brother John Hunt and edited it for a long time. The liberal journal offered some works of Shelley and Keats to the public; on the other hand, he was jailed for an article of taunts at the prince regent. His friendship with Shelley, Keats, and Byron is well known.

He created many works, such as The Story of Rimini (1816), and he is famous for his smart style as an essayist, especially Autobiography (1850), which was praised by Thomas Carlyle. As a liberal journal editor, he wrote some ballads based on the legend of Robin Hood, which shows his empathy with the outlaw Robin Hood. (M. I.)

1.Robin Hood a Child
2.Robin Hood’s Flight
3.Robin Hood an Outlaw
4.How Robin and His Outlaws Lived in the Woods
5.The Glove and the Lions
6.The St. James's Phenomenon