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Dangerous Talk – Scandalous, Seditious, and Treasonable Speech in Pre-Modern England - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Dangerous Talk: Scandalous, Seditious, and Treasonable Speech in Pre-Modern England

David Cressy


This book, filled with insults through the ages, is the full history of scurrilous political speech. Giving a voice to those gossips, rumourmongers and traitors, usually left out of history, this book examines the speech of ordinary people, who spoke scornfully of monarchs. The book reveals the lost conversations and expressions that got people into trouble, as well as unveiling moments when private words had public consequence. Although the proverb reads, ‘words were but wind’, tongues caused social damage, words challenged political authority, and treasonous speech imperilled the crown. Roya ... More

Keywords: political speech, treason, political authority, free speech, pre-modern society, English monarchy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780199564804
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199564804.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Cressy, author
Humanities Distinguished Professor of History, The Ohio State University