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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Mortimer Collins (1827-76)


English novelist and journalist, born at Plymouth, Devon, on 29 June 1827.  Collins was educated at a private school and taught mathematics at Queen Elizabeth College, Guernsey, from 1849 to 1856.  In 1850 he married Susan Crump and they had one daughter, Mabel Collins.

In 1855, his first collection of poems, Idylls and Rhymes, was published.  In the following year, he left Guernsey to concentrate on literature.  He was conservative and became a well-known journalist, working for the Leamington Mercury from 1856, and later for the Plymouth Mail, the Nottingham Guardian, and the London Globe.

In 1865, Collins brought out a novel, Who is the Heir? His wife, Susan, died in 1867, and Collins married Frances Dunn Cotton in 1868 and settled at Knowl Hill.  He published a second collection of poems, The Inn of Strange Meetings and other Poems, a novel, The Marquis and the Merchant, and a collection of essays, The Secret of Long Life, in 1871.  Collins was a prolific writer, producing several volumes of humorous verses and novels as well during his lifetime.   (N. M.)

1.The Ballad of Eleänore