This course will take place in person.
This course traces the antecedents of the range of London voices. We will map the history of London voices from late Old English, through the beginnings of standardisation in late-medieval Westminster, Tudor churchwardens, Jacobean and 18th-century stage characters, Victorian street-traders, and Eliza Doolittle, to the emergence of courtly speech and RP, dropped ‘h’s, and glottal stops.
We will be looking at different types of slang, the difference between accents south and north of the river, and the effects of migration on how Londoners speak now.
Who is this course for?
Anyone interested in London history and the history of the English language. No previous knowledge of the subject is necessary.
What can I expect?
Students are encouraged to bring along their own experiences of language for comparison, and to have a go at using historical accents. On-site courses include physical access to original materials such as historic dictionaries and documents; online courses use a large range of images of texts for illustration, as well as quotations and explanations. Handouts explaining the main points are issued after sessions.
How we’re keeping you safe
April 2022 update: Keeping you safe and healthy is our number one priority.
If you test positive for Covid-19 or are asked to isolate and are not able to attend your class or pre-booked event, please contact the Bishopsgate Box Office for further information (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please do not come to the Institute in person if you have symptoms or have tested positive.
Wearing a face mask is no longer compulsory but we ask you to consider others when in our building and especially when spending time in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. You will see many of our staff and volunteers continuing to wear face masks and we are keeping the perspex screens at our reception desks.
Bishopsgate Institute has strict cleaning protocols in place and ventilation throughout the building. There are hand-sanitising stations available throughout the building and touch-free drinking fountains. Find out more about how we’re keeping you safe.
We provide a number of funded bursaries to people who find it hard to pay the full or concessionary rates. Find out more information on how to apply.
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You will learn
- About the roots of the identifiable London voice in late Old English
- About the specifics of the developing London voice
- About attempts to denigrate the history of the London voice
- The difference between accents south and north of the river
- How 1,000 years of migration affected how Londoners speak.
Meet the Tutor
Julian Walker worked as an educator at the British Library for 16 years. He teaches book and printing history, and the history of English. Julian is the authority on the English language during the First World War, a subject of ongoing research in the Languages and the First World War project, which he directs. An associate lecturer at the University of the Arts London, he has written several books on the history of English, in fields such as cooking, sport, and conflict.
Need to Know
- 11:00 - 15:30
- £50/ £37 conc.
- Bishopsgate Institute
- Julian Walker
- Max Students
- No. of Sessions
- Course Code