Hand: Hand 2 (lines 7–28), BL Stowe Ch. 37

Hand 2 (lines 7–28)
BL Stowe Ch. 37
Saec. xi1/4

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

This angular, irregular hand is more shaded than S.1503-1 and was written in darker ink. Ascenders are long and show deeply split tips which branch off in tapering strokes to the left. Descenders are straight, sometimes with hairlines to the left, and are usually long. Minims are usually forward-leaning and show approach-strokes and prominent angled feet. Single-compartment a is normal, being more or less teardrop-shaped, although an alternative form appears which is Caroline in structure but the body fills the space between base-line and cue-height and the head is long and thick, rising almost to ascender-height and reaching back over the preceding letter. Teardrop-shape æ is also found, the hook of which often rises above cue-height in a narrow or wide, open or closed loop, although a bilinear form is also found. Round c appears throughout, the hook being short and the south-west quadrant often angular. The back of d is short, straight, and angled at about 45°, and the bowl can be somewhat rhomboid. Horned e was used with a small angular hook and a long rising tongue; the back can be upright or angled at up to 45°. Tall e appears infrequently and not necessarily in ligature (eadrices, line 21; þe, line 9). The tongue of f is flat and relatively long. The top of g is also long and flat, the middle component open, and the tail closed in an angled oblong. The upper branch of k is closed and sits slightly above cue-height, and the lower branch is angled and does not reach all the way to the base-line; the vertical, in contrast, sits on the base-line and reaches up to ascender-height. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all somewhat angular and branch from well below cue-height; all can have large feet, but only r does so consistently. Tall, low, and round s all appear with little distinction in usage. Round s has small upper and lower hooks and is approximately horizontal in the middle. Low s branches from below cue-height and sometimes from as low as the base-line. Two examples of large final round s are found at the end of the last word of line 15 and the first of line 16 (godeS / ælmihtigeS). The conventional distinction between þ and ð was followed. The back of ð is broken and as long as the variable line-spacing will allow, and the through-stroke is hooked downward on the right. Straight-limbed dotted y appears throughout, the right branch of which is hooked left and the tail hooked right. The top of 7 is normally turned up at the left and rises slightly, and the descender is more or less vertical.

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