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The Unbridled Tongue – Babble and Gossip in Renaissance France | Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Unbridled Tongue: Babble and Gossip in Renaissance France

Emily Butterworth


This book looks at gossip, rumour, and talking too much in Renaissance France and explores why these forms of talk were considered dangerous. Taking its cue from Erasmus’s Lingua, in which both the subjective and political consequences of an idle and unbridled tongue are emphasized, the book investigates the impact of gossip and rumour on contemporary conceptions of identity and political engagement. The book discusses prescriptive literature on the tongue and theological discussions of Pentecost and prophecy, and then covers nearly a century in chapters focused on single texts: Rabelais’s Tie ... More

Keywords: babble, gossip, parrhesia, public sphere, France, Renaissance, Ronsard, Erasmus, Montaigne, Brantôme, Marguerite de Navarre

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199662302
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662302.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Emily Butterworth, author
Department of French, King's College London