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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Winthrop Mackworth Praed (1802-39)



Born in Bloomsbury, London, June 1802. His literary career was excellent during his university life at Trinity College, Cambridge, as he twice won the Chancellor’s medal for English verse, and gained the Browne medal for Greek verse four times, among other achievements. In spite of this brilliant beginning of his literary career, he made little use of the self-expressive attitudes of the Romantics and stuck to the sociable poetics of man in society, or socio-economic reality. In fact, his political talent was outstanding as well. He took an active role as a conservative politician against parliamentary reform, after abandoning his original whiggish political stance, as the agitation for parliamentary reform was accelerated. His evaluation of the communicative traits of poetry rather than self-expressiveness might explain his attention to ballad forms. (Y. Y.)

1.Quince
2.The Red Fisherman
3.Sir Nicholas at Marston Moor
4.The Vicar