The Life and Adventures of Long Meg of Westminster

TitleThe Life and Adventures of Long Meg of Westminster
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1775
Number of Pages24
PublisherNew Printing Office

Full title: The Life and Adventures of Long Meg of Westminster: Containing the Merry Pranks She Played in Her Life Time, Not Only in Performing Sundry Exploits with Divers Ruffians About London, but Also How Valiantly She Behaved Herself in the Wars of Bulloign 

Long Meg of Westminster (Margaret Barnes) was a folk heroine of Elizabethan England who first appeared in the 1590s as a character in popular ballads, fiction, drama and poetry. Numerous references and allusions to her and her exploits in writings by both serious and popular authors attest to the firmness of her hold on the national imagination well into the seventeenth century and beyond. Of what she actually was we know nothing, not even her proper name. Although most scholars agree that Long Meg probably was a real person, certifiable records of her existence are totally lacking. Only statements appearing in jest biographies make it possible to suppose that she was a Lancashire girl of uncommon height, that she worked in a tavern and then served in the army of Henry VIII at the battle of Boulogne (September 1544), probably as a laundress, and that she later married and kept an inn. [Patricia Gartenberg]

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