Hand: Main Hand, Bodleian Eng. hist. a.2, no. iii

Main Hand
Bodleian Eng. hist. a.2, no. iii
Saec. x/xi

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

This script is imitative and includes a wide mixture of letter-forms ranging from the early tenth through to the late tenth or early eleventh century. The letters were inconsistently formed, and the strokes show a great deal of the hesitation and shakiness associated with forgeries. The Latin text and the vernacular charter-bounds were both written with Insular letter-forms and are not distinguished by size or proportions. Ascenders are shorter than minims and have heavy wedges, and descenders are usually longer, taper noticably, often turn left, and are often noticably shaky. Minims are more or less vertical, with prominent wedges and small horizontal feet. Flat-topped a was used throughout with a a prominent horn and a very angular upper right shoulder. The same form was used for æ, the tongue of which is fairly high, and the hook is above cue-height. The lower stroke of c is fairly angular and usually starts just to the left of the hook, thereby forming a small horn. The back of d is relatively long and angled at about 15°, usually turning up at the tip and reaching well over the preceding letter. Horned e was used throughout, the tongue of which is horizontal and near or at cue-height, and the eye rises slightly above. A low ligature is found with e and following g or t, but also with following x where it is structured much like the old Insular e+t. A taller and wider e+t and e+g ligature is found in the witness-list looking much like that of Phase-V Square minuscule. The tongue of f is long and on the base-line. The tail of g is rounded, reaches well to the left before turning back to the right, and finishes in a small open hook which is turned up at the tip. The shoulders of h, m, and n are moderately rounded, but r is more angular and branches from close to the base-line. The top of o is relatively flat, and the left side is angled in somewhat with a slight point at the upper left corner. Deeply-split low s was used throughout, branching from the base-line (much like G.52-1) or sometimes close to the tip of the descender. A single long s is found, the down-stroke formed exactly like the low form but with the hook rising to ascender-height. The toe of t is curled up, and underslung i was used when following. The conventional distinction was mostly followed between þ and ð but with frequent exceptions. The structure of ð is exactly like d but with a thin cross-stroke extending well to the right and then hooked down. Three-stroke x was used, the left-to-right and upper right strokes looking not unlike c with an especially prominent horn, and the lower left stroke extending well below the base-line and turned down at the tip. Undotted f-shaped y was used most often, but the round dotted form is also found.

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