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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John Sterling (1806-44)



Born on the Isle of Bute, Scotland, in July 1806. He was a distinctive member of the Cambridge Apostles, where he formed friendships with future leading intellectuals such as Alfred Tennyson, Frederick Denison Maurice, a forerunner of Christian Socialism, and others. Above all, his intimacy with Carlyle is well known, both of whom are Scottish university graduates, Sterling from Glasgow and Carlyle from Edinburgh. Carlyle left a biography of his friend, The Life of John Sterling (1851). Although Sterling was not a prominent figure either as the novelist who wrote Arthur Coningsby (1833) nor the poet who left such volumes as Poems (1839), the Election, a Poem (1841) and others, he became a first-rate reviewer by contributing to various periodicals, including his important review on Tennyson’s 1842 collection of poems in the Quarterly Review(September 1842). (Y. Y.)

 

1.Alfred the Harper
2.The Rose and the Gauntlet
3.The Sexton’s Daughter