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 Love Peacock (1785-1866)


English novelist and poet, born in Weymouth, England in 1785. His father was a glass merchant and lived away from his wife and child, so he was brought up by his mother. As Peacock was badly situated financially, he taught himself Greek, Latin, French and Italian. He published Palmyra, and Other Poems and The Monks of St. Mark in his late teens. In 1812, he met P. B. Shelley and formed a relationship with him. He joined the East India Company in 1819, and continued writing novels.

He wrote many novels such as Crotchet Castle (1831) and Gryll Grange (1861), which are satiric novels. His masterpiece, the satiric Nightmare Abbey (1818), describes party conversation among some eminent writers such as P. B. Shelley, Coleridge and Byron. It is said that his satiric novels had an effect on Aldous Huxley. In 1820 he published The Four Ages of Poetry, a work of literary criticism, in reply to which P. B. Shelley’s Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840) was written.

His literary ballads, “Bold Robin Hood” and “Robin Hood and the Two Grey Friars,” are inserted in his novel Maid Marian(1822). (M. I.)

1.Bold Robin Hood
2.The Cauldron of Ceridwen
3.The Friar of Rubygill
4.Llyn-Y-Dreiddiad-Vrawd
5.The Priest and the Mulberry Tree
6.Robin Hood and the Two Grey Friars
7.The War-Song of Dinas Vawr