A Special Presentation by Nora Davies.
From the sixteenth to the turn twentieth century, London received its daily news in song. Broadside ballads printed on a single sheet of flimsy, were cheap, easily replicated, and quickly spread. Street singers sang their wares aloud in streets and marketplaces, sharing important events, influential ideas, and plenty of gossip with the listening public. Ballads recorded many scandalous events and nothing sold quite so well as a gruesome crime. Rhyming tales of robbery, murder, and more were a large part of the ballad business. While ballads told of many criminals who found their way to the gallows, others also found their way into legend. One such man was Jack Sheppard, 18th century English thief and notorious prison breaker.
During this webinar, Nora Davies will present some examples of the broadside ballad in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library’s Collection and discuss the importance of the ballad in the early modern era as well as the “true” characters featured in crime ballads to expand on her former exhibit Crymes and Rhymes: The Broadside Ballad and the Celebrity Criminal. Join us for “bloody versicles,” daring escapes, and more.
Nora Davies is a Digital Asset Specialist at Smith College's Imaging Center in Northampton, MA. She recently received a Master's in Library Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She also has a Bachelor's in English, and over ten years of experience in the library world, from public to academic to digital. Before working at Smith College, Nora worked a dual Graduate Assistantship at UIUC's Scholarly Commons and Rare Book & Manuscript Library. She is fascinated by the creation and purpose of narrative and loves a good heist story.
Space is limited and registration is required. A Zoom link will be provided immediately after registration.
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