Cheaply printed pamphlets, some 16 to 24 pages, sold by itinerant pedlars or chapmen at a modest price (from one to six pennies), usually illustrated with woodblock prints, and comprising popular ballads, imaginative tales and supposedly true accounts of notorious real events. They appear in the late 1500s and become abundant in the eighteenth century as the costs of printing fall and the national market develops.
Editors. "Chapbook". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 November 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1312, accessed 21 December 2014.]