Oral and Literate Culture in England, 1500-1700
This book explores the varied vernacular forms and rich oral traditions which were such a part of popular culture in early modern England. It focuses, in particular, upon dialect speech and proverbial wisdom, "old wives' tales" and children's lore, historical legends and local customs, scurrilous versifying and scandalous rumour-mongering. Adam Fox argues that while the spoken word provides the most vivid insight into the mental world of the majority in this semi-literate society, it was by no means untouched by written influences. Even at the beginning of the period, centuries of reciprocal infusion between complementary media had created a cultural repertoire which had long ceased to be purely oral. Thereafter, the expansion of literacy together with the proliferation of texts both in manuscript and print saw the rapid acceleration and elaboration of this process. By 1700 popular traditions and modes of expression were the product of a fundamentally literate environment to a much greater extent than has yet been appreciated.
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2nd edn alehouse ancient antiquary Antiquities ballad broadside Cambridge Camden Charles church circulation coffee house Collection common copies court culture custom Derbyshire dialect Diary Dictionary E. P. Thompson Early Modern England early modern period Elizabethan England Essex evidence example Francis Bacon George George Puttenham hath haue heard Henry Hertfordshire History inhabitants James John Aubrey King language later learned legend letters libels litde Literacy London Lord manor manorial manuscript medieval memory mouth neighbours Northamptonshire oral tradition Oxford Oxfordshire parish political popular printed pronunciation proverbs recorded reign reported rhymes Richard Robert rumours Samuel Pepys sayings Scotland seditious seventeenth century Seventeenth-Century England singing sixteenth and seventeenth sixteenth century social Society Somerset songs speech Star Chamber stories tale tenants texts Thomas Nashe Tilley told town Tudor verses vols vulgar White Kennett William William Camden William Stukeley Wiltshire women writing written word Yorkshire