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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Thomas Tickell (1685-1740)

   Born in 1685 at Bridekirk, Cumberland. Tickell was educated at Queen's College, Oxford. He published a translation of the first book of the Iliad in 1715. As a friend of Joseph Addison, who employed the poet when appointed secretary to Lord Sunderland, lord-lieutenant of Ireland, Tickell wrote a well-known elegy "To the Earl of Warwick, on the death of Mr. Addison" (1721).

   Tickell's "Lucy and Colin", translated into Latin by Vincent Bourne (1695-1747), was based on the traditional ballad "Fair Margaret and Sweet William" (Child 74), but the abstract words and the disappearance of folklore such as 'corporeal revenant' and metamorphosis after death, shows that Tickell's literary ballad was a good exambple of deviation from tradition.   (M. Y.)

Critical Essays 1                   Mitsuyoshi Yamanaka. '"Colin and Lucy" - The Ballad Imitation and Phases of Sophistication'  (in Japanese).  Studies in the Humanities (42) 63-100. 1978.


1. Lucy and Colin