Irish ballads

> We have what appears to be one of the best collections of Irish ballads outside of the Emerald Isle–something like 1,000 of them. The ballads in this collection were taken from various dismantled scrapbooks. According to manuscript notes taken from two of the scrapbooks, many were collected in Cork and Dublin in 1865-66 and sent to Alfred Williams by Mr. Samuel Ferguson in 1879. More were contributed by Miss Mary Banim in 1886, and many of the ballads are the work of one Dublin press, run by P. Brereton. According to Leslie Shepard, author of The Broadside Ballad (London, 1962), “The Dublin printer P. Brereton deserves passing notice, as his sheets contain more inspired misprints to the square inch than any other at any time.” He cites the ballad shown here, of which we have three copies in the collection.

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