Hand: Main Hand, Bodleian Eng. hist. e.49 (30481)

Main Hand
Bodleian Eng. hist. e.49 (30481)
Saec. xi1

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

This hand has a slight forward lean and seems to have been written fairly quickly. Ascenders vary in length but are not shorter than minims; ascenders are usually forked and trail off to the left. Descenders are straight and about the length of minims. Minims themselves have small wedges and small feet. The body of a is essentially teardrop-shaped but can be wider than usual, rounder than usual, or with a fairly flat top. The same forms are also found in æ, the hook of which forms a bulging tall ligature whenever possible. Round c was used, and the back of d is usually fairly long and fairly straight, angled at about 10–15°, but can be very steep and vertical-tipped. Horned e is found and is always low, the hook is angular and the tongue is straight, long, and rising. The tongue and hook of f are medium length. The top of g is wide, the mid-section hangs from the centre or slightly to the right and swings well to the left before turning fairly sharply back to the right, and the tail is wide and open with a horizontal tip. The shoulders of h, m, and n are somewhat angular and are deeply split, but r is usually more angular. Tall s is normal with a wide hook and standing on the base-line, but low s was used in ligature with preceding æ, in which case it is very deeply split. The conventional distinction between þ and ð was often followed but with frequent exceptions (siþþan, wiþ, ðæm). The back of ð is long and usually straight but sometimes concave up, and the through-stroke is hooked down and does not extend to the left of the back. The top branches of x turn down, the lower right branch turns up, and the lower left branch is long and concave up. Straight-limbed dotted y is found, the right branch of which hooks left. The top of 7 is turned up on the left and rises to the right.

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