Further reading

Marius, Richard. Thomas More. New York: Alfred A. Knopf,


Tyler Hancock mum and the sothsegger Anonymous (15th century) Mum and the Sothsegger is an alliterative social satire inspired by William Lang-land's popular Piers Plowman. Only one manuscript of the poem exists (London, British Library, MS Additional 41666), and the poem is missing its beginning and conclusion, but its main body of 1,751 lines survives. Because the poem refers to events in 1409, during Henry Iv's reign, scholars have dated it to the early 15th century.

The poem's title is that offered by the manuscript's scribe, who named it after the two main speakers in the poem: Mum (one who holds his/her tongue out of self-interest) and Sothsegger ("truthteller"—one who speaks the truth despite the consequences). The text of the poem begins with a debate between these two personified abstractions, wherein Sothsegger insists that it is necessary to tell the truth in the commonwealth, so

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