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By Sarah Joanne Davies

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Extra resources for An investigation into attitudes towards illegitimate birth as evidenced in the folklore of South West England

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Her value was calculated according to Interestingly, Neilands observes that songs relating specifically to out-ofwedlock pregnancy, where the "chastity" law has been flouted, almost always end in disaster and sometimes death. Because there is no equivalent to this self-destructive pattern in relation to the male protagonist, the greatest pain in these situations is always depicted as being experienced by the women. Neilands' most interesting finding is that there is a discrepancy between the reality of the experience of illegitimacy/"illegitimate pregnancy" in nineteenthcentury Ireland and its representation in song.

As with South West variants, a sailor pays a woman for her favors. But for this one pleasureful union, the young woman is left alone. In fact, she receives gold and a child, but neither a home nor a husband - a case of imperfect production and reproduction. (143) This pattern again underlines the importance of women gaining independence from their families/communities in order to be granted success in their personal relationships.

Neilands 3). This approach was flawed, however, as it allowed him to bypass the problems posed by songs which were partially or completely at odds with socio-historical reality, by a process of deselection. Lloyd never resolved this issue and was therefore forced to make some rather improbable suggestions about this "illegitimacy" material. Twenty years after Lloyd, folksong scholarship has expanded, taking root in higher education. Scholars have been able to refine and develop more specialised areas of interest.

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