The rich field of English balladry was virgin territory before Francis James Child entered it. The few published ballad editions that existed were unreliable, filled with unacknowledged editorial changes and distortions of the original manuscripts. Professor Child compiled all the extant ballads with all known variants, and made them available for the first time together with his invaluable commentary that prefaces each work in a single source that maintained absolute fidelity to the original texts. Published between 1882 and 1898, the original ten-part study became the definitive collection of popular ballads in the English language, never to be superceded. To this day, scholars and devotees speak of 'The Child Ballads' with the awe and respect generated by few other literary works. Volume 1: Parts I and II of the original set, ballads 1-53 including 'Edward,' 'Lord Randal,' 'Tam Lin,' 'Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight,' 'Earl Brand,' 'Thomas Rymer,' more. Biographical sketch of Child by Prof. Kittredge, Child's portrait, additions and corrections.'