Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
an admirable concern to keep lines open to writing in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and America.
Seamus Heaney

Border Ballads: A Selection

Edited by James Reed

Cover Picture of Border Ballads: A Selection
RRP: GBP 9.95
Available from: Amazon LogoBuy now from Amazon
eBook (Kindle)
ISBN: 978 1 847776 20 4
Categories: Scottish
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Published: July 2012
188 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), Paperback
Digital access available through Exact Editions
Spend GBP 15 or more and receive a free Carcanet tote bag. Available internationally while stocks last.
Find out more.
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Editor
  • He's mounted her on a milk-white steed,
    And himself on a dapple grey,
    With a bugelet horn hung down by his side,
    And lightly they rode away.

    Lord William lookit o'er his left shoulder,
    To see what he could see,
    And there he spy'd her seven brethren bold,
    Come riding over the lee...
    From 'The Douglas Tragedy'

    The Border Ballads are rooted in the wild and beautiful lands that lie between England and Scotland, a traditionally lawless area whose inhabitants owed allegiance first to kin and laird, and only then to the authorities in London or Edinburgh. Recording a violent, clannish world of fierce hatreds and passionate loyalties, the ballads tell vivid tales of raids, feuds and betrayals, romances and acts of revenge. They celebrate ungovernable heroes and powerful women, often in laments for the murderous results of breaking tribal codes, and they evoke the presence of an older border, between the natural and the supernatural worlds.

    The Border Ballads were long regarded as primitive poems. This selection restores their identity within the oral tradition, setting them in the context of their time and place with the aid of maps and a glossary.
    ... read more
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog Small Poems: Laura Scott read more Entering the Silence: John Greening on Sibelius read more 'Ladywell': Roger Garfitt read more Seamus Heaney Prize Winner: Ned Denny! read more Carcanet Celebrate 50 Years! read more In Her Feminine Sign: Dunya Mikhail on Language read more
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2019 Carcanet Press Ltd