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Child's Unfinished Masterpiece


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An in-depth analysis of the creation of Child's opus, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix Prelude: The Project 1 1. The Man - Francis James Child 7 The English and Scottish Popular Ballads 2. The Description 71 3. The History of the Book - Child's Great Temptation 78 Child's Gallant Army of Auxiliaries 4. The Transatlantic Collaborators 159 5. William Macmath - Partner in the Ballad Cause 186 6. George Lyman Kittredge - Literary Executor Extraordinaire 213 Postlude: Child's Ballad Concept Redux 231 Appendix A. Wanted, Old Ballads 249 Appendix B. Invitation 251 Appendix C. Prospectus 258 Appendix D. Rejected Pieces 260 Bibliography 265 Index 275

About the Author

Mary Ellen Brown is a professor emerita of folklore, women's studies, and English (adjunct) at Indiana University Bloomington. Her previous publications include William Motherwell's Cultural Politics, 1797-1835 and Burns and Tradition.


"This monument of research, synthesis, and reflection is a groundbreaking book that stands as its own major contribution to folklore and ballad studies and serves as a stimulus for further research--just as Child's own titanic work has done. I learned many things from this book, as will anyone who opens its pages." Maureen N. McLane, author of Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry "This illuminating study captures the richness of Francis James Child's labours on The English and Scottish Popular Ballads through a patient scrutiny of his vast correspondence with a host of collaborators. In tracing Child's conclusions about the ballads, Brown provides valuable analysis of the letters that will be appreciated by ballad scholars, folklorists, and scholars of literature alike." James Porter, founding editor of The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music

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