The Bab Ballads: A New Selection

W.S. Gilbert

With an introduction and notes by Andrew Crowther, secretary of the W.S. Gilbert Society

Renard Press



ISBN: 9781804470664


Publication date: 3 August 2023



‘“What?” said the reverend gent,
“Dance through my hours of leisure?
Smoke? Bathe myself with scent?
Play croquet? Oh, with pleasure!”’

Today W.S. Gilbert is best known for the comic operas he produced in collaboration with Arthur Sullivan, but another of his great – and numerous – literary contributions were his humorous ballads, written and illustrated under the pseudonym ‘Bab’.

Combining his trademark absurdist wit with keenly observed character studies, the ballads are a satirical tour de force that lambast society figures. This new selection, chosen and introduced by Andrew Crowther, Secretary of the W.S. Gilbert Society, brings together the very best of the ballads and presents the ‘Bab’ works for a new readership.