Synopses & Reviews
Oral and Literate Culture in England explores the rich oral culture of early modern England. It focuses upon dialect speech and proverbial wisdom, "old wives' tales" and children's lore, historical legends and local customs, scurrilous versifying and scandalous rumor-mongering. Adam Fox demonstrates the extent to which this vernacular world was fundamentally structured by written and printed sources over the course of the period.
"Painstaking research in many types of sources enables Fox to tell us far more than we might have thought it possible to know about the permeation of text into popular culture and the contribution of oral tradition to publication and print."--Times Literary Supplement
"This compelling study explores the interaction between speech, script and print.... Adam Fox's account of early modern English oral culture combines penetrating analysis with celebration of that culture's vigour, diversity, and inventiveness."--English Historical Review
"Fox has given us a massively documented, beautifully written work of impeccable scholarship, and one (like Aubrey's work three centuries ago) enriched throughout by a deep sense of affection for this world we have largely lost."--The Guardian
"This is an important book, and most scholars of early modern England would benefit greatly from reading it. It supplies a model of good and clear writing, and a treasure house of fascinating anecdote and interesting insight.... [It] represents a significant addition to scholarship, and a highly entertaining and enlightening read."--Sixteenth Century Journal
This work explores the varied vernacular forms and rich oral traditions which were such a part of popular culture in early modern England. It focuses particularly upon dialect speech and proverbial wisdom; "old wives'tales" and children's lore, historical legends and local customs.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Oral and the Literate
71. Popular Speech
2. Proverbial Wisdom
3. Old Wives' Tales and Nursery Lore
4. The Historical Imagination
5. Local Custom, Memory, and Record
6. Ballads and Libels
7. Rumour and News