'Lyric Voice and Ballad Voice'

Pete Newbon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter outlines the ambiguities inherent in the title Wordsworth chose for his and Coleridge's co-authored anthology: 'Lyrical Ballads' (1798). The simplicity of the title belies the contradictory nature of these two concepts: the first a tradition of meditative poetic voice, originating in Classical verse; the second a medieval poetic form used to narrate plebeian, folkloric and supernatural events. The chapter describes the evolution of both of these traditions across the eighteenth century, and concludes by speculating what Wordsworth might have meant by a fusion of the lyrical voice with a balladic form in some of his verses of this collection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to 'Lyrical Ballads'
EditorsSally Bushell
Place of PublicationCambridge
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781108236300
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


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