Hand: Main Hand, BL Cotton Julius E.vii

Main Hand
BL Cotton Julius E.vii
Saec. xi in.
S England

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

Written with a moderately thick pen and some shading, this regular hand has a fairly level cue-height and a square appearance. Ascenders are straight and relatively thick, slightly shorter than minims, and with small wedges or split tops. Descenders are of similar length and are straight, and minims are straight, approximately upright, and show small wedges or approach-strokes and feet. Flat-topped a was used throughout, but the left side and bottom were formed by a single stroke which is angled in to the right and turns up fairly sharply at the bottom; the result is almost triangular and is close to Conner’s Form II. The a-component of æ also has a straight top, but the top is angled at about 45° and so the body is more teardrop-shaped. The back of the a-component can be also angled, in which case the eye is small and the tongue rising, but the most common form has a horizontal tongue at cue-height and a bulging tall loop which sits high on the shoulder. Round c was used throughout, although the hook is fairly flat and the back quite upright. Round d is found with a relatively long back which usually reaches behind the bowl and rises slightly above cue-height. Horned e is found with a squinting eye and a long tongue, and the letter can be high in ligature. The tongue of f is long and can rise slightly and can also pass slightly through the down-stroke. The mid-section of g hangs from the left of the flat top-stroke and bulging out very slightly to the left, and the tail swings around in a wide, closed loop. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all fairly round and can have swollen strokes, and that of r often curves back to the left slightly before turning out in a horizontal foot. Long and low s appear, although long s less common, was never used finally, and appears most often before t and wynn. Long s has a small hook at ascender-height and a fairly short, tapering descender. The conventional distinction between þ and ð was followed. The body of ð can be somewhat angular, and the back is long, fairly straight, angled at about 80°, sometimes vertical-tipped, and with a fairly flat through-stroke which usually has a small downward hook on the right. The first, right-to-left stroke of x is thick, curving, and descends slightly below the base-line, and the second stroke has a prominent downward hook on the right and does not descend much below the base-line but curves well under the preceding letter. Straight-limbed and round y are found, both forms dotted, and the former has a long thin tail and a right branch which is hooked left. The top of 7 is long and flat, often with a small upward hook on the left and a slight upward turn on the right; the descender is approximately vertical. Latin is not distinguished by script on 203r, but longer passages were written in Anglo-Caroline.