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A partial list of the subjects of these broadside ballads might mention ballads about highwaymen, fornication, love, cross dressing warrior women, mad mothers, corrupt politicians, street traders, nationalism, radical politics, fox hunts, boxing matches, the inspiring effects of Bacchus's vine, and the comforts of cheap gin (to mention just a few of the subjects broached by recent scholarship).
It would have been better just to say that the witch craze was largely over by the time the licensing act lapsed in 1695, which certainly paved the way for developments in the print trade, but hardly the demise of the broadside ballad.
The anonymous broadside ballad "Rare News for the Female Sex: Or, Good Luck at Last" (1695/6) is a raunchier, but similarly economically sophisticated piece of literary wit.
Broadside Ballads From the Pepys Collection: A Selection of Texts, Approaches, and Recordings (CDs included)
Claude Simpson, The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music (New Jersey, 1966), 98-9.
The broadside ballad constitutes one of the oldest forms of popular culture in Europe and America.
The highest priced lot sold for pounds 2,760 and contained about 45 single slip broadside ballads, mostly dating from the 18th century and many of a slightly risquA nature.
To avoid the danger of taking as benchmark a broadside ballad that has itself been culled from tradition, journalistic "news" ballads dealing with recent events are selected, so that any later oral variant must be a derivative.
Simpson, The British Broadside Ballad and its Music (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1966).
The study explores the power of the popular media in the 17th century when, by the end of the 1600s, the broadside ballad could build or destroy someone's public image.
A black-letter broadside ballad, The Princess Welcome to England, the most popular print medium of the period, heralded Mary's arrival in England at this historic juncture.
It was in Fowle's print shop that Thomas set his first type from a copy of a broadside ballad, The Lawyer's Pedigree.