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Oral and Literate Culture in England 1500–1700$
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Adam Fox

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251032

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199251032.001.0001

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Introduction: The Oral and the Literate

Introduction: The Oral and the Literate

(p.1) Introduction: The Oral and the Literate
Oral and Literate Culture in England 1500–1700

Adam Fox

Oxford University Press

The interaction between the different media, oral, scribal, and printed, and key aspects of the oral culture in 16th- and 17th-century England is the theme of this book. The book also focuses on the way in which an increasingly literate and print-based culture influenced the means and the content of communication throughout society least familiar with the written word. The significance of the medias of speech, script, and print infused and interacted with each other, is emphasized through an extensive citation of the ballad of Chevy Chase, England's favourite national song. The written word helped in instructing people ways to sing, and to express themselves, and in the later Middle Ages, it extended further into almost every aspect of economic, social, and cultural life.

Keywords:   oral culture, print-based culture, written word, Chevy Chase, industrial growth, communication

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