Batsford 1st 1979
4to, brown bds with gold titling to spine. VG++/VG++ 715 gms
(Order reference 14959).
The ballads (unaccompanied melodies) with historical commentary by the author. From the blurb: "A great deal of their history is to be learned from their ballads. What the historian, Lord Macaulay, wrote of seventeenth-century England is true of the whole of English history. Over the centuries, the ballad singer has fascinated, delighted and disgusted his hearers - as can be seen from this selection of over eighty contemporary ballads which show how ordinary people have reacted to social change and to national events over the last 400 years.The author's historical commentaries and quotations from contemporary writers set the scene for each ballad and explain any otherwise obscure allusions. The book is lavishly illustrated with contemporary paintings, engravings, woodcuts, ballad sheets and photographs, and is completed with 50 tunes - for, as a seventeenth-century editor wrote: 'If thou read these ballads (and not sing them) the poor ballads are undone.'