Book and Language

Good news: the final styling process for the Bevis book is about to take place, and publicity for it is under consideration. The opportunity to participate in bringing our local hero to a new audience in a new translation is continually exciting.

My intention has always been to present the 14th century Middle English version of the Bevis story in modern English so more readers could have access and enjoy the hero’s multifacetted adventures. But I really love the sound of Middle English, and although there are numerous ways in which we can hear that language recreated for us, usually as recordings of extracts from Chaucer’s late 14th century Canterbury Tales, I have just been introduced to a new recording of John Skelton’s poem Speke Parrott. Although the poem is early 16th century, its language still sounds remarkably like Chaucer’s London dialect as the poem tells us much about how language came to change from the sounds Chaucer knew to sounds rather more like modern English.

To hear what Middle English sounded like, follow this link–b1leV6aXmLg

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