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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Sebastian Evans (1830-1909)


As author, journalist, artist, and barrister, Sebastian Evans had an interesting career. From 1857 to 1866, he designed many windows as the manager of the art department of the glassworks of Messrs Chance Bros. & Co. in Birmingham. In 1867 Evans became the editor of the Birmingham Daily Gazette. Although he left the position to undertake a legal career three years later, he came back to the editorship in 1886 when the editor of the Daily Gazette died. Evans also left many portraits.

He was most noticed as an enthusiastic medievalist. The Arthurian revival in Victorian Britain was a literary and cultural phenomenon. Alfred Tennyson, William Morris, Matthew Arnold, and A. C. Swinburne resurrected King Arthur. Evans translated ‘Perceval, or the Knight of the Grail’, originally written in Old French in the early 13th century, into The High History of the Holy Grail in 1898. His other works are Brother Fabian Manuscript and Other Poems (1865), In the Studio: A Decade of Poems (1875), etc. His younger brother was Sir John Evans, well-known antiquary, and his sister, Ann Evans, was a poet. (H. N.)

1.The Seven Fiddlers