Hyder E. Rollins (essay date 1922)
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.)