An investigation into attitudes towards illegitimate birth - download pdf or read online

By Sarah Joanne Davies

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Extra info for An investigation into attitudes towards illegitimate birth as evidenced in the folklore of South West England

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The juxtapositioning of scenes and setting and the exact details of performance style and context in Tess also contributes to this impression. Hardy's characters are, through their own interpretations, seen as hinting at the polysemic nature of "The Spotted Cow" and Preston herself collectively views this literary evidence as vouching, in the words of Margaret A. Mills, for the song's "multiple interpretative possibilities" (323). Preston therefore deduces from her literary analysis that the song is used to heighten our awareness of oppositions among cultural registers and has a wider political meaning (323, 325).

Preston uses an inter-textual approach to song, looking at the interplay between the personal identity of the "reader" and identities constructed within the text according to these three registers. The English bawdy song, "The Spotted Cow", which existed in oral tradition during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is explored using this framework. Further examples, such as "A Pleasant New Court Song Between a Young Courtier and a Country Lass", are also used. However, Preston's argument loses its impact in relation to these later examples because the same standards do not seem to be applied to male 29 and female protagonists alike.

Songs about sexual/romantic relations and illegitimacy were drawn upon significantly, although the work veers towards being descriptive rather than analytical. His observations concerning illegitimate birth as depicted in song would now be seen as outdated, but nevertheless this examination of songs about sex/romance is important because he prompted further academic interest in this topic. Lloyd offers two rather contradictory assertions in relation to these songs. The first is based upon the acknowledgement of the social stigma attached to illegitimate birth in the past.

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An investigation into attitudes towards illegitimate birth as evidenced in the folklore of South West England by Sarah Joanne Davies


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