This collection offers 325 love-songs and merry, bawdy and irreverent verses from Shakespeare's time up to the eve of Queen Victoria, brought to light from songbooks, broadsides, manuscripts and other sources in the British Library, The Bodleian and elsewhere. They spring from all levels of society - aristocratic circles, the theatres, the taverns and the streets. A 7000-word introduction gives the social-historical background. Wherever necessary, words and allusions are helpfully annotated in the page. Endnotes provide additional material. Also included are 40 examples of music to the songs in the book.