Episode 83: A Trilingual Nation

During the reign of Henry II, the speech of England was dominated by three languages – English, French and Latin. In this episode, we examine the relative roles of those three languages, and we also explore how the social barriers between those languages were breaking down in the 12th century.

6 thoughts on “Episode 83: A Trilingual Nation

  1. Hi! I love your podcast and eagerly await each episode. I just have someting (humbly) to add. I took a course in Middle English in college, read sections of the Acrene Wisse for that class, and still own a copy of it in Middle English. The Ancrene Wisse was actually written for monastic women, or anchoresses, not for monks or anchorites. I only mention this because, as I learned it in that class, it is one of the earliest pieces of English literature intended for the use of women, and is also significant for that aspect.
    Looking forward to your next episode! Thank you for all your hard work on this subject. It’s so fascinating.


    • Hi Tricia,

      You are absolutely correct. In fact, I have an entire episode planned for the Ancrene Wisse because it is such an important document in early Middle English. When I wrote the episode, I was thinking that ‘Anchorite’ was a gender neutral term, but you are correct that the female form in ‘Anchoress.’ I should have used the female form since the book was intended for women.

  2. Wow! Thank you Tricia for that insight. And thank you Kevin for continuing with your wonderful podcast. I celebrated my 83rd birthday on Friday by listening to episode 83.

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