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Word Count: 1,020
Printed Ballads provide lively sources for historians interested in early modern popular culture With reference to at least two texts from the English Broadside Ballads Archive discuss the value of such sources to historiansBallads published around the English civil war and the intervals without government or King were an exceptionally powerful source of entertainment and a means for passing on current topics The authors of such ballads used many different tools to show their work to the masses Many controversial topics were transformed using the new cheaper printing methods into entertainment using genre format and music for a broad audienceThe wide range of subjects and different types of ballad give us an idea of how stories and current affairs were relayed to the people both in the towns and in the countryside How they were perceived by those that read and heard them we do not know on an individual basis as they could have been taken both seriously as a record of information or as amusement Most ballads were printed a one page broadsides which cost approximately one penny At this price most people could afford them sometimes although at this time we must remember that one penny was also the approximate cost of a loaf of breadHowever even if these families did not have the ability to purchase the ballads they would nevertheless have heard the songs and they would have been able to repeat these using this mediumBallard writes sometimes wrote for specific groups such as virgins young men gallants good fellows and wives as these were seen to be admired groups Stern moral ballads were written for landlords clergymen lawyers and tradesmenThe Ballad roome for companie stets the ballad record for mentioning no fewer than 159 occupational and social types within it 21 versesSome ballads were written as a means to publicly shame As did George James he was a servant of a Warwickshire gentleman who had his livery coat confiscated
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