The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #66440   Message #4167563
Posted By: GUEST,Robert B. Waltz
14-Mar-23 - 05:57 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: 'Judas' (Child 23?) by John Jacob Niles
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Judas' (Child 23?) by John Jacob Niles
Steve Gardham wrote, Thanks for that snippet, Bob! I need to get into other Ballad Society publications. I think some of them may be available on Archive or Gutenberg. Couldn't afford to buy them. I don't suppose there is a great deal relating to oral tradition in them though.

Generally there isn't, except for Hales & Furnivall's book on the Percy Folio (for which I paid an arm and a leg for a copy that was in miserable condition). What we really need to do is bug the British Library to scan the Percy Folio! They've scanned a bazillion useless copies of the Greek Bible, but not the Folio. (Not every BL Bible is useless -- they have the second- and third-most important New Testaments in the world -- but the British Library has, if I counted right, 129 MSS of part or all of the Greek New Testament, plus about an equal number of Greek lectionaries, and by my count perhaps 35 are worth scanning.)

Anyway, Furnivall did a lot of important things, including taking the first steps that were needed to get a quality edition of Chaucer published, but despite doing the Percy Folio, he was more concerned with pre-1600 texts than ballads -- and often his role was more to encourage than to edit himself. I could point you to instances where he published the first text of things that have been included in ballad collections; I have three Furnivall books other than Hales & Furnivall. But I wouldn't consider them worth the cost for most people; almost always Furnivall's text gets printed verbatim by a later author. :-)