Hand: Main Hand, Canterbury Chart. Ant. B.1, Red Book, no. 18
- Main Hand
- Canterbury Chart. Ant. B.1, Red Book, no. 18
- Saec. x/xi
- Central Production (?)
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This script has a fairly broad, open appearance and fairly square bodies. The aspect retains some elements from Phase-V Square minuscule, but there are too many raised letters to give a strong sense of cue-height. A medium-width pen was used with some shading. Ascenders are often long and never shorter than minims; they are fairly straight and have wedges which are very wide but vertically compressed and which fork slightly from the tops of the letters. Descenders are usually shorter than ascenders and taper slightly. Minims have upward ticks for feet and thick, heavy approach-strokes which are often formed with a separate stroke from the main body. Conner’s Form-II a was used throughout, the top of which is angled up slightly, and the stroke forming the left side of the bowl was sometimes turned out to the left, creating a small horn. The same Form-II structure was used in æ, the e-component of which has a roundish hook extending just above cue-height, a high horizontal tongue which thickens at the tip, and a lower curve which reaches back up to join the tongue just beyond the eye. Tall æ was also used before any minim, descender, g, or t; in this case the back of the e-component extends vertically a little above cue-height, and then a second stroke forms a long curved hook which reaches to the right of the down-stroke in the following letter before meeting it in a tapering point at cue-height. The lower stroke of c has a slightly angular, ‘laid-back’ appearance. Bilinear d was used throughout, the back of which reaches beyond the bowl to the preceding letter. Horned e is also found with hook, tongue, and lower curve exactly like that æ, and the same tall ligature was also used. The tongue of f sits on the base-line but turns up slightly at the tip, and the descender is short. The top of g often tapers slightly on the right or can have a small upward hook on the left, and the body has a zig-zag shape, the mid-section curving out very slightly before turning sharply right and slightly upwards, then turning back in a fairly straight stroke angled down and left at about 50–60° and ending in a small round blob. The lower curve of k rises slightly before turning down and out to the right and hooking up at the tip; the upper curve is small, thin, and hooked down at the tip, and sits just below the peak of the lower stroke. The shoulder of h branches from lower than those of m, n, and r but is otherwise the same, and all four letters have very straight, vertical down-strokes and are not particularly rounded at the top. The south-west quadrant of o is slightly angular. The scribe used long and low s with little distinction, although the long form normally preceeds t and wynn and was often used initially and rarely finally. Low s+s ligature is also found. Long s descends slightly below the base-line and reaches up more-or-less all the way to ascender-height. Little clear distinction was made between þ and ð, with both forms used even in different occurrences of the same syllable (e.g. æðelred, but æþerices). The back of ð is relatively long and very concave down, sometimes bending fairly sharply left in the middle. The through-stroke of ð does not usually bisect the back but extends right and is hooked down at the tip. The south-west of x extends below the base-line and the north-east branch is hooked left. Straight-limbed dotted y was used throughout, the left branch at a very shallow angle and slightly concave down, and the right branch hooked left. The top of 7 is horizontal and relatively long, and the down-stroke is angled slightly left.