Wonderful Times; or Things Extraordinary (Broadside Ballad)

Published by J.V. Quick, London
From Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints, ABAA (Garrison, NY, U.S.A.)

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A series of bawdy poems and limericks, with the punchlines set off on separate lines for timing. "An old sailor dwelt in Windsor, it is true upon my life / And he would not be satisfied, till he'd got a German . wife." "There was an old man in Greenwich, and he courted a girl called Peg / And he slipped down a plug-hole and broke his . wooden leg." This is a broadside ballad were sold for half a penny or penny on the streets in London, Manchester and other British cities during the 19th century. (Once newspapers became more widespread and cheaper, they largely displaced this type of street literature.) Printed on cheap tissue paper, they included religious warnings, political arguments, satire, comedy, bawdy tales, crime news, fantastic tales, love and relationship advice and calls for social reform. In some cases the printer would suggest a familiar tune that would fit the lyrics provided. Most had a woodcut illustration, although it may have been unrelated to the subject matter. Many broadside ballads in London were printed in the Seven Dials district. They were sold in large numbers on street corners, in squares and at fairs by travelling ballad singers and also pinned on the walls of alehouses, where they were sung and read. However, because they were meant to be disposable, presaging both the consumer culture and mass media, relatively few have survived. 7 by 10 inches. Bookseller Inventory # 16810

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Title: Wonderful Times; or Things Extraordinary (...

Publisher: J.V. Quick, London

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