Original ERD - Literature concerning the Play

Compiled by E.C.Cawte, A.Helm & N.Peacock. Online ed.: P.T.Millington

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A list of sources relevant to the Play is given in the Bibliography. In our MS Index we have listed every source available, though many are repetitive, but for the present work we have only listed those which contribute new facts. We ourselves have tried to examine each authority quoted, but where this has proved impossible, we have shown this by the words 'quoted by...' after the entry concerned. Such references should be treated with reserve since we have found a number of examples of misquotations and also of derived accounts. An outstanding example of the latter is the play from County Durham, first recorded by Topliff (1815) and subsequently given more fully by Sharp (1834). This was republished slightly amended by Bell (1857) and Stokoe (1887), still being attributed to County Durham and later still it appeared in Turner (1901) and very recently in Gee (1952), which give Cleveland as the location.

It is fitting to pay tribute to the work of Thomas Fairman Ordish, whose interest in the Play led to the collection of MSS, now known as the Ordish Papers. This collection was made from approximately 1890 onwards, and contains the product of work in the field by Ordish and many other collectors, such as Mabel Peacock, E.H.Binney, Percy Manning, Mrs H.K.F.Eden, and R.J.E.Tiddy, who had the advantages of witnessing what they noted, as well as a clear understanding of the value of a written record. Other contributors to the Ordish Papers sent extracts from printed sources, not now readily accessible outside the larger reference libraries. Still other contributors sent chapbooks containing printed play texts, now unobtainable, making this a unique collection of texts which have long since disappeared publicly.

The Table does not contain as many entries 'Ordish Coll.' as might be expected, because only the unpublished items from the MSS are thus given, but it should be noted that a considerable proportion of the printed references have become known to us through examination of the Ordish Papers. We have tried to examine all these original references, and have shown them in the bibliography. Our debt to this collection is great, and we suggest that the student of the Play could save himself much time and labour by examining the collection in the Folk-Lore Society's library.

If the references had been confined to the limits of the Table, much valuable material would have been omitted. The amount of literature devoted to this end is small but important: some of these important general works are included in the Bibliography, marked ["Reference valuable for general reading"].

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© 2007, E.C.Cawte, N.Peacock & P.Millington ( Rev. 22-Nov-2007