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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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P. Thompson's broader examination of the practice suggests that other "crimes", such as particular kinds of remarriage, nagging or scolding by wives, and excessive submissiveness by husbands were also major provocations, thereby placing a greater emphasis on a range of actions offending more generally against the patriarchal notion of marital roles (E. P. Thompson, "Rough Music" 493-99). Renwick's choice of examples in describing two different versions of the ritual both of which relate to different kinds of sexual relationship - is also misleading (102-03).

Therefore, the sum production of these three registers is combined, in collage-like fashion, with all the other registers to which the person is affiliated. This accretion of each of these subidentities represents a considerable part of an individual's personal identity. This process is further complicated by the fact that registers are constantly in a state of flux, the solidarity one feels with a particular group varying, for example, according to the social context in which one is placed, particular registers taking precedence over others during different periods.

Protagonists who are sailors (with whom he associates the fisherman in this song), or "maidens" are two such examples. Sailors occupy a polarised position in terms of exhibiting, on the one hand, extremely untrustworthy qualities as lovers and, on the other, excessive loyalty and devotion. Interestingly, Renwick emphasises that this "Janus-like characteristic is a consequence of sailors' mobility" (33). This is because "that self same mobility which allows sailors to return to a reborn union - or, for that matter, even to arrive on the scene as potential partners in the first place - also permits them to easily escape an unwanted permanent union" (33).

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