Coded Birds and Bees: Unscrambling <i>Mum and the Sothsegger</i> and <i>The Boke of Cupide</i>


in Socioliterary Practice in Late Medieval England

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780198112426
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191707865 | DOI:
Coded Birds and Bees: Unscrambling Mum and the Sothsegger and The Boke of Cupide

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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

Chapter.  13948 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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