British Ephemeral Literature Criticism: Overviews And General Studies - Essay

Hyder E. Rollins (essay date 1922)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Preface to A Pepsyian Garland: Black Letter Broadside Ballads of the Years 1595-1639, Chiefly from the Collection of Samuel Pepys, edited by Hyder E. Rollins, Cambridge University Press, 1922, pp. vii-xxiii.

[In the following excerpt, Rollins explains that a great many sixteenth- and seventeenth-century broadsides, ballads, and jigs served not only as popular entertainments but as journalism and social commentary as well.]

Perhaps the most important of all the treasures—apart from the inimitable Diary—in the library bequeathed by Samuel Pepys to Magdalene College, Cambridge, is his collection of broadside ballads. These were grouped loosely according...

(The entire section is 5004 words.)

Roger Thompson (essay date 1977)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Introduction to Samuel Pepys' Penny Merriments, Being a Collection of Chapbooks, full of Histories, Jests, Magic, Amorous Tales of Courtship, Marriage and Infidelity, Accounts of Rogues and Fools, together with Comments on the Times, edited by Roger Thompson, Columbia University Press, 1977, pp. 11-23.

[In the following excerpt, Thompson argues that Samuel Pepys's collection of seventeenth-century ballads and chapbooks are invaluable aids to understanding the lives and tastes of ordinary English people of the period.]

Two months before he died in 1703, Samuel Pepys made his will. Being childless, he left his treasured library of three thousand volumes to his...

(The entire section is 1768 words.)