Hand: Grammar Hand 1 (fols. 56–127 except 62v27–30)), Durham Cathedral B.III.32

Grammar Hand 1 (fols. 56–127 except 62v27–30))
Durham Cathedral B.III.32
Saec. xi1 or xi med.

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

This heavy and somewhat rotund hand has a good deal of shading, was written with little space between lines, and is very similar in aspect to G.315-2. Ascenders are thick and short relative to cue-height and have regular wedges. Descenders are also short and straight and taper slightly. Minims are straight and upright, normally with heavy wedges and small, slightly rising feet. A rounded but essentially teardrop-shaped a was used throughout with the top formed in the same stroke as the back. The same structure was used for æ, the tongues of this and horned e are thin, rising, and turned down at the tip, and both æ and e are squinting. Round c was used throughout, and d has a thick and fairly short back which is angled anywhere between the horizontal and about 45°. The tongue of f is straight and relatively thick but tapers, and both f and low s have angular hooks which branch from below cue-height. The tail of g hangs from slightly left of the top-stroke, and the mid-section is long but narrow, turns quite sharply right at the bottom, and is closed in a relatively small loop. The vertical of k sits on the base-line, the lower branch is thick, straight, and also reaches the base-line, and the upper branch is thin and hooked downwards. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all rounded and swollen, the down-strokes vary but can be curved or quite straight, and the foot of r is usually long and tapering. Tall and low s were both used with little apparent distinction except that tall s usually precedes t. Tall s has a prominent wedge, a small hook, and a tapering bottom which can stretch just below the base-line. The scribe followed the conventional distinction between þ and ð, though with some exceptions (foþ, 62r22). The back of ð is long, thick, broken at the base, angled at about 50–60°, often curved slightly left at the tip, and has a through-stroke which is hooked up on the left and down on the right. The south-west branch of x is long and thin, reaches under the preceding letter, and is turned up at the tip. Straight-limbed, dotted y was used throughout, the right branch of which is hooked left, and the tail is thin and straight. The top of 7 is short and tapers slightly, and the descender is long, thick, and angled very slightly to the left. Latin was not regularly distinguished from the vernacular in script, although occasional Caroline letter-forms are found (e.g. the h in cytharistis, 62r29).

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