While modern Belgians proudly identify with the figure of the bastard, nineteenth-century nationalists saw the fifteenth-century Valois Burgundian 'state' as the origin of their country. Coincidentally, this was a period and a region where bastards had risen to political and social
prominence. This article examines one cultural trace of this; the use of an abbreviation for the word bastard in manuscripts written in French in Valois Burgundy. Used by men and women for whom bastard was a title, the abbreviation does not reflect any desire to conceal a taboo
word, but rather is a response to the frequency of occurrences of bastards. Abbreviation is also found in French manuscripts where the word occurs frequently, but it is not the same standardized abbreviation used in Valois Burgundy. This one abbreviation points to a divergence in material
culture in the two regions.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 19, 2013
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The Irish Journal of French Studies is an annual international refereed journal published by the Association des Études Françaises et Francophones d'Irlande. Articles in English, French or Irish are welcomed on any aspect of research in the area of French and Francophone culture, society, literature and thought. Articles published within the last two years are available free online to members and may be purchased by non-members. All other articles are available on an open access basis.
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