The Ballad Repertoire of Anna Gordon, Mrs Brown of Falkland

April 2011
9 black and white, 3 line illustrations
354 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Scottish Text Society
Scottish Text Society Fifth Series
ISBN: 9781897976326
Format: Hardback
Scottish Text Society
BISAC LCO009000, LIT004290, LIT004120

The Ballad Repertoire of Anna Gordon, Mrs Brown of Falkland

Edited by Sigrid Rieuwerts

Edition of an important collection of ballads, taken down in the eighteenth century from a female singer.
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

Editorial Conventions
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


An important anthology, a scholarly thesis, and a very readable and interesting account for the casual reader. It is an essential book for ballad scholars. SCOTTISH STUDIES NEWSLETTER

This is a splendid volume, one that contributes substantially to ballad scholarship, especially as it relates to a single singer's repertoire over time-in this case, the earliest singer for whom we have such detailed records. The book is also exemplary in its adherence to the highest scholarly standards, its careful analyses, and its attention to detail, not only as a work of scholarship but also as an example of bibliographic artistry. JOURNAL OF FOLKLORE RESEARCH

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