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BastardsPolitics, Family, and Law in Early Modern France$

Matthew Gerber

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199755370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755370.001.0001

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(p.xi) A Note on the Text

(p.xi) A Note on the Text

Oxford University Press

“Bastard” continues to be a pejorative expression in English, so I have tried to avoid using it wherever possible. “Extramarital offspring” may be less rhetorically robust, and “children born out of wedlock” is a bit of a circumlocution, but both are more neutral in tone, as is appropriate. In translating primary sources, however, I have consistently rendered bâtard as “bastard.” I have translated its gentler synonym, enfant naturel, as “natural child,” and I have occasionally used this expression as an alternative to “extramarital offspring.” I have also tried to consistently refer to the mothers of extramarital offspring as “natural mothers” or “unwed mothers,” but in some contexts I have chosen to translate the early modern usage of fille mère using the archaic term “pregnant maiden” in order to convey the moral tone of the expression during that historical period. Unless otherwise stated in the notes, all translations are my own. (p.xii)