Who is Francis James Child? Child was an American scholar, educator, and folklorist, best known today for his collection of English and Scottish ballads now known as the Child Ballads.
I’ve been picking my way through the eight volumes of “English and Scottish Ballads” curated and edited by Francis James Child. I jump from volume to volume frequently depending on what I’m looking for, or what mood I’m in. I thought that you might be interested in reading some of his work too, so I decided to link all eight volumes in a single post for you.
In the first volume, Child explains that each of the volumes are mostly arranged by genre or theme, so I will quote his descriptions after each.
Here they all are, available for free on archive.org.
- Volume 1 | Ballads involving Superstitions of various kinds, — as of Fairies, Elves, Water-spirits, Enchantment, and Ghostly Apparitions ; and also some Legends of Popular Heroes.
- Volume 2 | Tragic Love-ballads.
- Volume 3 | Other Tragic Ballads.
- Volume 4 | Love-ballads not Tragic.
- Volume 5 | Ballads of Robin Hood, his followers, and compeers.
- Volume 6 | Ballads of other Outlaws, especially Bolder Outlaws, of Border Forays, Feuds, etc.
- Volume 7 | Historical Ballads, or those relating to public characters or events.
- Volume 8 | Miscellaneous Ballads, especially Humorous, Satirical, Burlesque; also some specimens of the Moral and Scriptural, and all such pieces as has been overlooked in arranging earlier volumes.