The ’Arry Ballads

An Annotated Collection of the Verse Letters by Punch Editor E.J. Milliken


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About the Book

The romantic notion of the Cockney, the shrewd and slangy common man coming from nowhere and surviving by his wits, is best exemplified by E.J. Milliken’s character ’Arry and the verse letters or ballads he writes. The letters and stories, as well as the character of ’Arry, were Milliken’s vehicles for social criticism, namely the intolerance shown by the aristocracy. Those letters, colorful additions to Victorian history and humor, tell the story of ’Arry, a commoner who is enamored of the social hierarchy, and who is keenly aware how close the top and bottom rungs are. Central to the themes is the Cockney whose pride is his dialect.
Confidence in the face of the class system and withering social criticism make Milliken’s ’Arry ballads memorable. This work analyzes the Cockney ballads and contains extensive annotations. Each chapter is dedicated to a facet of the everyday life of the common man in Victorian England, including entertainment, travel, and politics. Each is prefaced with a short analytical history of the period which also places the letters in context.

About the Author(s)

Patricia Marks, now retired, taught literature and composition at Valdosta State University for 30 years. In 1996, she was named Regents Distinguished Professor and in 2001 was awarded the Governor’s Award in Humanities. She is the author of four other books, including Sarah Bernhardt’s First American Theatrical Tour, 1880–1881 (2003) and lives with her husband in Valdosta, Georgia. She is a Deacon at Christ Episcopal Church.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Patricia Marks
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2391-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Preface      1

1. Plaid “Ditters”: Swells and Blokes      3
2. ’Ot and Spicy Entertainment      27
3. Traveling “On the Continong” and at Home      73
4. “By Jingo”: Protecting the Homeland      104
5. The Blues: Women and ’Arry      145
6. Finale      177

Bibliography      189
Index      195