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Valerie Allen is Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNYRuth Evans is Professor of English at Saint Louis University

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085062

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085062.001.0001

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The word on the street

The word on the street

Chaucer and the regulation of nuisance in post-plague London

Chapter:
(p.97) 5 The word on the street
Source:
Roadworks
Author(s):

Sarah Rees Jones

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719085062.003.0005

This chapter addresses writing about the street with a particular focus on the City of London between about 1385 and 1425. Using sources as diverse as the literary works of Chaucer and the proceedings of neighbourhood courts it pursues ideas about the use of the street in the creation of elemental social bonds. In particular it focuses on the window as the porous place of interaction between domestic interiors and the public street. An influential elite discourse showed a particular interest in matters of sexual intimacy. By contrast popular conversation about the street at neighbourhood level was more dynamic and developed around a pragmatic range of interests, which nevertheless provided an opportunity for political criticism of government officials.

Keywords:   Chaucer, neighbourhoods, London, streets, sexual conduct, popular government

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