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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Mary Howitt (1799-1888)



Born at Coleford, in Gloucestershire, March 1799.  She married William Howitt (1792-1879) in 1821, and began a career of joint authorship with her husband, producing over 180 books together.  She is versatile, as is seen in the incredible number of literary works she produced as poet, novelist, translator and editor, but she is particularly associated with her tales for children, and idyllic stories that embodied the Victorian ideal domestic life.  A selection of the couple’s literary works are collected inThe Desolation of Eyam and Other Poems (1827).  Howitt’s Journal (1847-9), which assisted many working-class poets in printing their poems, is an indication of her literary contribution as an editor.   (Y. Y.)

1.The Boy of Heaven
2.The Fairies of the Caldon Low
3.An Old Man's Story
4.The Ballad of Richard Burnell
5.The Sin of Earl Walter
6.Thomas Harlowe
7.The Three Guests
8.The Voyage with the Nautilus