Only brief selections have previously been printed from the great ballad collection of the famous diarist Samuel Pepys, which accordingly is almost unknown except to a few students. In the present edition six volumes will be devoted to a complete reprint, with full explanatory introductions and notes of all the hitherto unprinted topical and historical ballads (1535-1702) in the collection. These first two volumes make accessible all the early ballads (1535-1640) that have not been printed elsewhere, and offer much interesting material to students of English literature, Elizabethan drama, and English history. So far as poetry is concerned, these two volumes have not been equalled by any similar collection of broadside ballads. Among the poets represented are Martin Parker George Wither, Richard Barnfield, William Basse, and Sir Edward Dyer.