Warrior Women and Popular Balladry, 1650-1850

TitleWarrior Women and Popular Balladry, 1650-1850
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsDugaw, Dianne
Number of Pages233
PublisherCambridge University Press

This book documents the flourishing of the female warrior heroine in lower-class popular songs of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In well over a hundred ballads during this period, the heroine masquerades as a man, going to war for love and glory. The author examines the ballads, their composition, sale and performance, and relates the warrior women to a wide range of contemporary contexts. These include everyday life for the lower-class population of the period (especially for women), a wide array of literary forms using the motif of disguised women and raising issues relating to gender and masquerading, and the western heroic ideal with its sexual and martial implications. This study makes connections between popular and polite literary forms, too often segregated in academic studies.

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