Percy’s Debt to Pepys

Percy’s Debt to Pepys

To the Editors: Jenny Uglow’s “Big Talkers” describes Thomas Percy as the “first collector of English Ballads.” However, Claire Tomalin’s biography of Samuel Pepys notes Pepys’s own collection of ballads, carefully curated by subject and bound into volumes to be preserved in his invaluable library and used by Percy in his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry some fifty years later.

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