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This is the text-only/accessible version of Exploring the Middle Ages.


Nothing, perhaps, serves better as an introduction to the Middle Ages than a glimpse at how the inhabitants of that period spoke of it themselves.

Presented in this section is a selection of verse covering the fundamental aspects of the times: love, war, heroic deeds and their tragic aftermath, and a look into the supernatural and superstitious nature of the era.

The ballads were culled from The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, Edited by Francis James Child and published by Houghton, Mifflin and Company in five volumes during the years 1884, 1886, 1889, 1892 and 1898. These volumes are now in the public domain.

In order to preserve the historical integrity of the ballads they are presented in their original dialects, which span a broad range. These ballads have been passed down through the centuries from many different regions of Great Britain before appearing in print. A synopsis of each ballad, in modern American English, is provided to aid in ease of comprehension of the dialects.

Ballads Index

Historical Ballads

Outlaw Ballads

Romantic Ballads

Supernatural Ballads

Tragic Ballads

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