Hand: Main Hand, Bodleian Eng. bib. c.2 (31345)

Main Hand
Bodleian Eng. bib. c.2 (31345)
Saec. xi1

Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)

This is a heavy hand with relatively square proportions, a fairly level cue-height, but a somewhat stiff aspect. Ascenders are thick and no longer than minims; wedges are small and sometimes slightly split. Descenders are also thick and slightly longer than minims; they often waver slightly and can have rising angled serifs. Minims have wedges and regular horizontal feet. The top of a is fairly flat but written in the same stroke as the back, which in turn is fairly vertical; the left stroke curves out, and so the shape is somewhere between round and square. Much the same form was used for æ, although the body is usually narrower and sometimes less angular; the tongue is horizontal and the hook round when low, but the form is tall whenever possible, in which case the hook is narrow but slightly bulging. Round c was used throughout. The back of d is short, thick, and angled at about 20°. The back of e is vertical, and the letter has a full wedge at cue-height; the tongue and hook are like those of æ in both low and tall forms, although the tongue here is more often thin and rising. The tongue of f is fairly long and can be slightly concave up. The top of g is flat and wide, and the mid-section hangs from the left, bulges further out to the left, then curves back down and right almost in an S-shape, then back to the left in a closed loop. The shoulders of h, m, and n are all much the same as each other, the shoulder moderately rounded. The shoulder of r is more angular, and the down-stroke more vertical. Long and low s are both found, long usually before t and wynn, (but long once in , 11r2, and low once in swa). The back of ð is long and rather thick, angled at about 50°; the through-stroke is thin, straight, and has a very slight turn down on the right or no hook at all. The scribe shows strong preference for ð over þ, the latter appearing infrequently. The upper branches of x are hooked down, the upper right branch is shorter than the left, and the lower left branch is long and hooked up. Straight-limbed dotted y is found, the right branch hooked left and the tail slightly concave up and hooked up at the tip; the right branch is shorter than the left. The top of 7 is wide and slightly concave up; the descender begins slightly above cue-height and wavers a little.

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