The English and Scottish popular ballads form a remarkable group in English poetry. They are distinguished from other kinds of poetry by their popular origins (no individual authorship) and oral means of transmission (either sung or spoken). Interest in these fascinating specimens of poetic expression grew in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and their texts came to be collected and published. Francis James Child’s definitive ten-volume edition of The English and Scottish Popular Ballads appeared at the end of the nineteenth century. In this volume of B·A·S·E, twelve of the best known and most admired Child ballads — among them thrilling stories of life and death, a religious ballad and a Robin Hood ballad — are presented and discussed in detail and their typical features explained in depth.