It is generally acknowledged that no Scottish ballads are superior in kind to those recited by Mrs Brown of Falkland (1747-1810). Her ballads date from an earlier age and contain the themes and motifs of medieval romance and folk tale, a world full of kings and queens, knights and ladies, love and betrayal and encounters with the otherworld. They are entirely from an oral tradition, passed down a female line of transmission from her mother, grandmother and aunts; they thus provide a unique glimpse into the collective memory of Scotland in the age of enlightenment. This edition presents Mrs Brown's collection entirely in the order in which she preserved it, prior to the intervention of (male) ballad collectors such as Walter Scott, Robert Jamieson and 'Monk' Lewis. It provides the texts of all Mrs Brown's manuscripts; where a ballad is recorded in more than one version, it presents the different recensions in facing page format, enabling an easy comparison. Music from the original manuscripts is also given in modern notation. A full introduction and notes complete the volume. Professor Sigrid Rieuwerts teaches at Siegen University.
Table of Contents
Texts Part 1: Ballads in A with their Parallels from B and C
Texts Part 2: Ballads in B, C, D and E without Parallels in A