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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Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61)


English poet, born in Durham. Although she is best remembered for her scandalous marriage to Robert Browning and their romantic life in Italy, she was, during her lifetime, considered a better poet than her husband, and even considered for the post of Poet Laureate. As the wave of feminist studies arrived and spread during the latter half of the 20th century, both her literary work and career have come under the vigorous investigation, some of which labelled her an early feminist. Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850), inspired by her own love story, is best known, and a poem, “The Cry of the Children” (1843), is a favourite anthology piece. “The Romance of the Swan’s Nest” is a beautifully composed allegorical poem styled in a simple ballad form. (Y. Y.)

1.The Romance of the Swan’s Nest