Ghost's Bride, The

DESCRIPTION: John Gordon comes to court Mary, saying her lover, his brother, is long dead. She agrees to marry him. She hears the dead brother speak, saying John stole his land, wife, and life. When John Gordon awakes, Mary is gone, her bones by the brother's grave
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1952 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: love courting brother death homicide betrayal marriage abandonment reunion
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
BrownII 58, "The Ghost's Bride" (1 text)
ST BrII058 (Full)
Roud #6567
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "A Gentleman of Exeter (The Perjured Maid)" [Laws P32] (plot)
cf. "Susannah Clargy" [Laws P33] (plot)
cf. "Alonzo the Brave and Fair Imogene" (plot)
cf. "An Sgeir-Mhara (The Sea-Tangle, The Jealous Woman)" (theme)
NOTES: This song, "A Gentleman of Exeter," and "Susannah Clargy" are all essentially the same story, and looking at the titles in the Broadside Index, I wonder if they haven't cross-fertilized -- or aren't retellings of some epic original. (Note that the story is almost "Hamlet.")
The notes in Brown describe this as the best of the lot, and it is certainly vividly told. If there is any complaint against it, it is that it is a little *too* perfect, and the Brown copy seems to be the only collection. Perhaps it was composed in the family of the informant? - RBW
File: BrII058

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