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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William Maginn (1793-1842)



Irish writer, born in Cork, July 1793. He began writing for the Blackwood’s Magazine, especially for a series of popular dialogues, ‘Noctes Ambrosianae’, using the pseudonym ‘Sir Mogan O’Doherty’. His well-written short story “Bob Burke’s Duel with Ensign Brady” (Blackwood’s May 1834) gained great popularity. In 1830 he founded Fraser’s Magazine, in which many of his satirical verses and prose, such as Homeric Ballad (Fraser’s 1839-42), were included. “The Eve of St. Jerry” and “The Rime of the Ancient Waggonere”, parodies of Scott’s and Coleridge’s poems, were composed in ballad form. He also rendered “Chevy Chase” into funny Latin verse. (Y. Y.)

1.The English Sailor and the King of Achen’s Daughter
2.The Eve of St. Jerry
3.The Rime of the Ancient Waggonere