The Ballad Partners have published their latest title: A Notorious Chaunter In B Flat And Other Characters In Street Literature.

The book’s chapters cover a huge range of topics including the ballad trade and ballad singers from Dublin to Tewkesbury, the role of cheap print in political song and dissemination of news, a highwayman and even The Titanic. The eponymous ‘Notorious Chaunter’ is also revealed as Jack Cartar of London, described in a publication of 1837 and re-printed here with an introduction by Steve Roud. Most of these are versions of papers presented at annual Broadside Days or similar conferences, which have been revised for publication.

The new volume, edited by David Atkinson and Steve Roud, is the third in a series published by The Ballad Partners in the field of street literature and cheap print - broadsides and chapbooks produced for ordinary folk from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The previous two in the series were Street Literature And The Circulation Of Songs in 2019 and Printers, Pedlars, Sailors, Nuns: Aspects Of Street Literature in 2020.       

As ever, the purpose this latest The Ballad Partners publication is to make available scholarly work in a field that, for better or for worse, lies outside of the academic mainstream. It will interest anyone with an interest in song and performance culture, social history, book history and popular reading and literacy.