Border Ballads: A Selection

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Psychology Press, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 200 pages
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The Border Ballads are rooted in the wild and beautiful lands that lie between England and Scotland, a traditionally lawless area whose inhabitants owed allegiance first to kin and laird, and only then to the authorities in London or Edinburgh. Recording a violent, clannish world of fierce hatreds and passionate loyalties, the ballads tell vivid tales of raids, feuds and betrayals, romances and acts of revenge. They celebrate ungovernable heroes and powerful women, often in laments for the murderous results of breaking tribal codes, and they evoke the presence of an older border, between the natural and the supernatural worlds. The Border Ballads were long regarded as primitive poems. This selection restores their identity within the oral tradition, setting them in the context of their time and place with the aid of maps and a glossary.
 

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Contents

Introduction
10
ii The Borders
16
Suggestions for Further Study
26
Jockothe Side
36
Hobie Noble
42
Dick othe Cow
48
Johnie Armstrong
58
Fair Helen of Kirconnel
67
The Battle of Otterburn
107
The Douglas Tragedy
121
Rare Willie Drowned in Yarrow
127
The Cruel Sister
134
The Twa Corbies
140
TrueTammas
148
The Young Tamlane
153
The Broomfield Hill
162

Jamie Telfer in the Fair Dodhead
75
The Outlaw Murray
82
The Death of Parcy Reed
94
The Raid of the Reidswire
101
The Wee Wee Man
168
Proud Lady Margaret
176
Glossary
185
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About the author (2003)

Sir Walter Scott was a prolific Scottish historical novelist and poet. James Reed is the author of "Walter Scott: Landscape and Locality," and "The Border Ballads."

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