Hand: Main Hand, Folger Folger Shakespeare Library ptd.bk., (binding)

Main Hand
Folger Folger Shakespeare Library ptd.bk., (binding)
Saec. xi2/4

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

This very thin strip shows only a few letters in what was once a larger and probably high-quality manuscript. The hand seems quite regular; the base-line and cue-height are a little uneven, but this may be due to warping in the parchment. A fairly thick pen was used, though with a good deal of shading, and was held at about 60°. The bodies of letters are quite rotund, the proportions square but the strokes quite rounded. Ascenders are quite short, certainly shorter than minims, and have wedges which can be well-formed, or can be slightly split. Descenders are short and essentially straight but turn slightly left at the tip. Minims have regular wedges and horizontal feet. Flat-topped a was used throughout, the left side curving in slightly. The back of d is fairly long, and is close to the horizontal but does rise slightly above cue-height. Horned e was used, the back vertical, the tongue thick but not especially long, and the hook always shorter than the tongue, turning back in to the left before meeting it; the lower curve is long and often reaches back up, close to or touching the tongue. The shoulders of h, m, and n are all quite rounded, and the strokes somewhat bulging. Only low s is found. The back of ð is long, more or less straight, and angled at about 40°; the through-stroke is long, thin, fairly low, and hooked down on the right. The letter is only found once and is at the start of a line, so it was probably used initially, at least at the start of a syllable if not a word. The only occurrence of þ is in the abbreviation for þæt. The rotund forms, in combination with the square proportions, flat-topped a, and the form of e, all suggest a date in the second quarter of the eleventh century, and an origin perhaps in the Canterbury orbit.

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