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Socioliterary Practice in Late Medieval England$
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Helen Barr

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198112426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112426.001.0001

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Coded Birds and Bees: Unscrambling Mum and the Sothsegger and The Boke of Cupide

Coded Birds and Bees: Unscrambling Mum and the Sothsegger and The Boke of Cupide

Chapter:
(p.158) Chapter Seven Coded Birds and Bees: Unscrambling Mum and the Sothsegger and The Boke of Cupide
Source:
Socioliterary Practice in Late Medieval England
Author(s):

HELEN BARR

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112426.003.0008

This chapter argues that the narrative strategies and diction of Mum and the Sothsegger and The Boke of Cupide possess religious commentary because they form part of a language code whose social significance would have been registered by audiences familiar with the ways that religious discussion was framed. It discusses that both The Boke of Cupide and Mum and the Sothsegger were written at a time in which the emergence of Lollardy generated new forms of religious writing with distinctive tropes, vocabulary, and cohesions. It clarifies that authors and audiences of texts written during the emergence and suppression of Lollardy shared assumptions about the cultural significance of certain linguistic signs in accordance with their advocacy of, or simply familiarity with, the particular form of social knowledge constituted by Wycliffism.

Keywords:   Mum and the Sothsegger, The Boke of Cupide, language code, religious commentary, Lollardy, Wycliffite, social knowledge, Clanvowe

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