Balladry in Motion

Herbert Tucker
The mythic fancy that minstrels wandered, and the bibliographic fact that versions of their oral ballads migrated to print in strikingly different variants, run proxy for each other as analogous expressions of a modern ambivalence over the ballad form. This analogy is also played out prosodically, in the great freedom with which ballads permute, even as they observe, metrical conventions that identify them. Analysis of examples from Percy’s Reliques and Chatterton’s Rowley forgeries sets the...
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