Anna Gordon entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Anna Gordon, later Mrs Brown of Falkirk, was known even in her lifetime as a collector and performer of ballads and traditional Scottish songs. She was the earliest performer from whom unprinted ballads were collected, Bibliographic Citation link. the source for more than three dozen of those known today. Scholars are still debating (and may never reach a reliable conclusion) as to the proportion of the words, and the music, of these ballads that she herself wrote. The literary biographer Robert Anderson remarked that she "writes verses". Bibliographic Citation link. But even if—as she herself maintained—she was simply and solely passing on inherited material, then it was an inherited women's tradition, whose composition had been done by women in earlier generations.
24 August 1747 AG was born in Old Aberdeen, the youngest daughter in her family. Bibliographic Citation link.
24 February 1802 Walter Scott included a selection of AG's songs in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (of which the first two volumes appeared on this day). Bibliographic Citation link.
1806 Robert Jamieson relied a good deal on AG's manuscript collections for his Popular Ballads and Songs. Bibliographic Citation link.
11 July 1810 Anna Brown (also known as AG) died in Old Aberdeen Bibliographic Citation link.
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