Venomous Tongues: Speech and Gender in Late Medieval England

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$55.80
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $7.54
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 87%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (24) from $7.54   
  • New (9) from $16.90   
  • Used (15) from $7.54   

Overview

Sandy Bardsley examines the complex relationship between speech and gender in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and engages debates on the static nature of women's status after the Black Death. Focusing on England, Venomous Tongues uses a combination of legal, literary, and artistic sources to show how deviant speech was increasingly feminized in the later Middle Ages. Women of all social classes and marital statuses ran the risk of being charged as scolds, and local jurisdictions interpreted the label "scold" in a way that best fit their particular circumstances. Indeed, Bardsley demonstrates, this flexibility of definition helped to ensure the longevity of the term: women were punished as scolds as late as the early nineteenth century.

The tongue, according to late medieval moralists, was a dangerous weapon that tempted people to sin. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, clerics railed against blasphemers, liars, and slanderers, while village and town elites prosecuted those who abused officials or committed the newly devised offense of scolding. In courts, women in particular were prosecuted and punished for insulting others or talking too much in a public setting. In literature, both men and women were warned about women's propensity to gossip and quarrel, while characters such as Noah's Wife and the Wife of Bath demonstrate the development of a stereotypically garrulous woman. Visual representations, such as depictions of women gossiping in church, also reinforced the message that women's speech was likely to be disruptive and deviant.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The unique contribution of Venomous Tongues lies in its interdisciplinary approach and the way it situates scolding within a broader range of issues specific to the legal and social history of the period. Its subject matter makes it likely to be read by many beyond specialists: those interested in comparative women's history, in oral culture, and in anthropologically influenced modes of social/cultural analysis."—L. R. Poos, The Catholic University of America

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812239362
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/15/2006
  • Series: The Middle Ages Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandy Bardsley teaches history at Moravian College.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: Speech, Gender, and Power in Late Medieval England

Chapter 1. "Sins of the Tongue" and Social Change
Chapter 2. The Sins of Women's Tongues in Literature and Art
Chapter 3. Women's Voices and the Law
Chapter 4. Men's Voices
Chapter 5. Communities and Scolding
Chapter 6. Who Was a Scold?

Conclusion. Consequences of the Feminization of Deviant Speech

Notes
Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)