Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry

Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry

$37.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Romanticism

  • Date Published: July 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521349505

$ 37.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This book is a history and theory of British poetry between 1760 and 1830, focussing on the relationship between Romantic poetry and the production, circulation and textuality of ballads. By discussing the ways in which eighteenth-century cultural and literary researches flowed into and shaped key canonical works, Maureen McLane argues that romantic poetry's influences went far beyond the merely literary. Breathing life into the work of eighteenth-century balladeers and antiquarians, she addresses the revival of the ballad, the figure of the minstrel, and the prevalence of a 'minstrelsy complex' in romanticism. Furthermore, she envisages a new way of engaging with romantic poetics, encompassing both 'oral' and 'literary' modes of poetic construction, and anticipates the role that technology might play in a media-driven twenty-first century. The study will be of great interest to scholars and students of Romantic poetry, literature and culture.

    • Powerful treatment of canonical Romantic texts but also of less-celebrated works
    • Breathes new life into the work of eighteenth-century balladeers and antiquarians
    • Envisages a way of engaging with Romantic poetics, encompassing both 'oral' and 'literary' modes of poetic construction
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "From beginning to end, Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry offers pithy, witty, and productively thought-provoking formulations, along with novel perspectives and unexpected conjunctions of material."
    - Angela Esterhammer, The Review of English Studies

    "Meeting a book to think with is not an everyday occurrence: Maureen N. McLane's Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry is definitely one. I recommend it to folklorists who find disciplinary history intriguing or who have ever been smitten with the ballad or pondered the oral/written literary divide."
    -Mary Ellen Brown, Journal of Folklore Research

    "[A] major book on poetry is Maureen N. McLane's Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry. A deeply theoretical book, it is still accessible and even lighthearted. . . . [T]his book . . . has transformed the field and should be required reading....
    Aware that poets, antiquarians, ethnographers, linguists, folklorists, and more consider ballads their property, she draws upon all and does an admirable job of sorting among them. Her mastery of her subject and method surface time after time, as when she repeatedly shows how editors produce ballads and yet demonstrates that with ballads "the radical authority of deep, extended, 'authentic' subjectivity" and "the elaborated authority of editorial objectivity" must always be considered together....
    She brings to life literary rivalries, such as that between Scott and Hogg, and just to be sure this book cannot be mistaken for an old-fashioned ballad study, she gives in-depth treatment to Mungo Park's "Negro Song," styled an Afro-Scottish border ballad, and to "Cherokee Death Song." The paths she traces with them are too good to spoil by telling you; read the book."
    -Paula R. Backscheider, Recent Studies In The Restoration And Eighteenth Century:SEL

    "McLane has not only reimagined the study of both ballads and romanticism but has also set a high standard for balancing theoretical sophistication with writerly lucidity."
    18th Century Scotland, Jeff Strabone, University of South Florida

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521349505
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 160 x 231 x 33 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Dating orality, thinking balladry: of minstrels and milkmaids in 1771
    2. How to do things with ballads: fieldwork and the archive in late-eighteenth-century Britain
    3. Tuning the multi-media nation: minstrelsy of the Afro-Scottish border
    4. How to do things with minstrels: poetry and historicity
    5. Minstrelsy, or, Romantic poetry
    6. Seven types of poetic authority circa 1800
    7. British Romantic mediality and beyond: reflections on the fate of 'orality'
    Conclusion. Thirteen (or more) ways of looking at a black bird: or, poiesis unbound.

  • Author

    Maureen N. McLane, New York University

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.