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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George Walter Thornbury (1828-76)


Born in London as the son of a solicitor. A journalist by profession, he wrote mainly for the Athenaeum. He also wrote verses, novels, art criticism, and historical sketches. His historical topography, Old and New London: A Narrative of its History, its People and its Places (1872), which begins by claiming “[w]riting the history of a vast city like London is like writing a history of the ocean . . . ”, is highly valued as a work of art. He published many other works, including Songs of Cavaliers and Roundheads (1857) and Shakespeare’s England during the Reign of Elisabeth (1856). (M. M.)

1. The Cavalier’s Escape
2. Culloden
3.Old Sir Walter
4.The Three Troopers