The Tudor Housewife (book #116)

Alison Sim, 1996.

I would like to know what “yollenes” are. Sims quotes a 1541 translation of Heinrich Bullinger‘s The Christian State of Matrimony, originally published in 1540 (translation seems to have been by Myles Coverdale or Thomas Beccon, and the book was originally called Der christlich Eestand). “Parents were to be sure their daughters

avoyd all unhonest lovers and occasyons of the same, as unhonest daunsynge, wanton communicacion, coommary wythe rybaldes and fthy speachese, teache them to averte their sight and sences from all such unconveniences, let them avoyd yollenes, be occupied wither doing some profitable thyng for your family, or elles readynge some godly book, let them not reade bokes of fables, of fond lyght love, but call upon God to have pure hartes and chaste, that they might cleve only to thyr spouse.”

The word is not in the OED and although I have found the German text online, it is in scanned pages rather than etext so I haven’t been able to find this passage in German and work out what “yollenes” could mean.

Here’s a fifteenth-century boy complaining in his schoolbook:

Thou wyll not beleve how wery I am off fyshe, and how moch I desir that flesh were cum in ageyn, for I have ate non other but salt fysh this Lent, and it hat engendyrde so moch flewme within me that it stoppith my pyps and I can unneth speke nother brethe.

Sim illustrated the book herself, and I like her somewhat stumpy people. Here’s a sixteenth-century marriage ceremony:

Couple under arbour


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