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Dangerous TalkScandalous, Seditious, and Treasonable Speech in Pre-Modern England$
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David Cressy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199564804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199564804.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

Dangerous Talk in Dangerous Times

Dangerous Talk in Dangerous Times

Chapter:
(p.259) 12 Dangerous Talk in Dangerous Times
Source:
Dangerous Talk
Author(s):

David Cressy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199564804.003.0012

This chapter reviews the cultural politics of anti-authoritarian speech, community responses, excuses, and consequences, across the early modern era. It revisits material from across the period and ventures some general conclusions. It notes the examples of dangerous talk, the responses of auditors, and the excuses of those accused. It reconsiders the peril of law and the patterns of punishment for alleged offenders and questions the threat posed by crimes of the tongue to the security of early modern regimes. The discussion notes that the common tongue was not always respectful or polite. Some utterances were hostile and abusive, demeaning to public authority, hostile to the crown. Others reinforced the established regime. People spoke unguardedly, recklessly or without reflection, and sometimes said things that could be judged scandalous, seditious, or even treasonable.

Keywords:   excuse, anxious authorities, everyday speech, law, dangerous talk, common tongue

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