The Rebellious Tongues of the North: The Matter of the North Episode 4 of 10

Press/Media: Expert Comment


Sarah Bastow contributes to this radio programme discussing northern Catholic resistance to the Elizabethan and Jacobean religious laws.


Period4 Aug 2018

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleRadio 4: The Matter of the North
    Media name/outletRadio 4
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionThe Rebellious Tongues of the North
    The Matter of the North Episode 4 of 10
    Episode Four is the story of rebellion and dissent in the north - and the way northern dialect is beginning to be marginalised and even mocked. Melvyn Bragg begins at Clifford's Tower in York, site of a Norman fortress built to keep the north under control. It was also the site centuries later, where Robert Aske - one of the leaders of The Pilgrimage of Grace (a great Catholic Rebellion) was executed. It's in York that St Margaret Clitherow was tortured to death. Melvyn goes to Riveaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire and finds evidence that the monks were on the brink of producing high quality cast iron and even blast furnaces. If the Reformation hadn't happened could the Industrial Revolution have begun here hundreds of years earlier? Melvyn examines how the south is coming to view the north - and its dialect. There is an idea that northern kinds of English are less prestigious. An idea that persists. Melvyn discusses this with Joan Bakewell. The poet Simon Armitage celebrates the speech patterns of the medieval poetic masterpiece 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' and Melvyn meets Dame Judi Dench who remembers her time performing the York Mystery Plays.

    Jonnie Robinson, British Library
    Joan Bakewell
    Simon Armitage
    Judi Dench
    Toby Gordon
    Natalie McCaul, Yorkshire Museum
    Dr Sarah Bastow, University of Huddersfield
    Susan Harrison, English Heritage
    Prof Andy Wood, Durham University

    Producer: Faith Lawrence.
    PersonsSarah Bastow