Hand: Main Hand, CCCC 201, pp. 8–160, 167–76

Main Hand
CCCC 201, pp. 8–160, 167–76
Saec. xi1 or xi med.

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

The script was written with a fine pen and has long ascenders and descenders with relatively large spaces between lines. However, the bodies of letters are quite square and hint at the proportions and roundness more typical of the mid-eleventh century. Minims are backward-leaning, but ascenders and descenders are usually upright. Ascenders are moderately thick and straight; wedges are normally flat-topped but can be split or tapering with a horizontal approach-stroke which extends from the left and often to the right. Tapering ascenders can look slightly bent rightwards, resulting in a left side which is roughly vertical and a wedge on the right. Descenders are usually short and straight but can be longer than minims. The tops of descenders can be bulging, but these and minims usually have horizontal approach-strokes. Minims are often quite long, rounded, have small feet, and are joined to the previous letter. Single-compartment a was normally written with a very round loop on the left and a back angled at about 45°, although the back can extend slightly above the loop. Horned a was used very occasionally but probably only in corrections (eala, p. 141/30; gelæstan, p. 83/11). All of these variations are also found in æ, the tongue of which is long and either horizontal in final position or otherwise rising and joined to the following letter; the eye in both cases is usually quite small. Tall-æ ligatures are extremely infrequent (but dæg, p. 49/31). Round c and d were used, the latter most often with a short straight back angled at about 30–45°, but the back can be concave down. Horned and round e are found, the first with a vertical back parallel to minims, and the second oblong-shaped and slightly backward-leaning; the tongue and hook are like those of æ. The tongue of f is long and flat, and the tail of g is open. The mid-section of g bulges to the left, sometimes even beyond the top-stroke, and extends below the base-line before curving around in a small, nearly closed, circular loop; the top can be quite short and the letter as a whole can look stretched vertically. The shoulders of m and n are fairly rounded but not bulging. Low and long s were used. Long s is infrequent and was normally used initially or before t but is more common early on in the text. Long s shows a small loop turning back down to the vertical, and once has a wedge at ascender-height (se, p. 8/29), although this was perhaps influenced by the following þonne. The conventional distinction between þ and ð was mostly followed, but Ð was always used in preference to Þ. The back of ð is usually long and straight, is angled at about 45° or more, can be thick, and can have a vertical tip; the through-stroke is thin, approximately horizontal, and hooked down. The south-west stroke of x is long and hooked right, and y is straight and dotted, occasionally with a vertical, minim-like left-hand stroke which may have been corrected from i. The top of 7 has a wedge on the left and rises slightly at the right; the descender is straight but sometimes turns slightly left at the tip.