Hand: Main Hand, BL Stowe Ch. 6

Main Hand
BL Stowe Ch. 6
Saec. xi

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

This scibe frequently introduced Caroline letter-forms into his imitative script. The document lacks bounds but has two short passages in Old English as well as various Anglo-Saxon names. Ascenders are longer than minims and can have slightly split wedges. Descenders are about the length of or slightly longer than minims and are straight. Minims themseves have small wedges and have small rising ticks for feet. Caroline a is sometimes found, particularly in the first vernacular passage. A straight-topped a was more often used, sometimes with a small horn; the top is angled at about 30°, the left and right sides straight and sometimes close to vertical but sometimes angled at about 70–80°, and the result is a lozenge-shaped body. A similar form was used for æ, the tongue of which starts at cue-height, and the eye forms a bulging ligature wherever possible. The back of d is fairly long, reaches back over the preceding letter, and is angled at about 20–30° but is turned up slightly at the tip. Horned e was used throughout, the tongue of which is fairly high and close to horizontal, and the loop frequently forms a bulging ligature like that of æ including before flat-topped a. The tongue of f is flat but slightly above the base-line and reaches forward to meet the following letter, and the hook is deeply split. The top of g is often very short, in which case the mid section starts from the right and is somewhat angular, extending down and left, then down and right, before curving around in an open tail which turns up at the tip, and the result is somewhat 3-shaped. In other cases the same tail was used but the top is wider and the mid-section hangs from the centre or slightly to the right. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all fairly rounded and branch from well below cue-height. The descender of r is often very short, and Caroline r is also found several times in the first vernacular passage. Long, low, and Caroline s were all used with little apparent distinction except that Caroline s is found most often in the first vernacular passage, and low s is found even before t. The hook of low s is deeply split and branches almost from the tail. No þ is found. The structure of ð is much like that of d, the through-stroke long, usually hooked down on the right, and sometimes hooked slightly up on the left. Although the letter does not appear in the vernacular passage, round undotted y is found in the name Seleðryðe. The top of 7 is long and slightly concave up, and the down-stroke curves very slightly to the left. Latin was written in Anglo-Caroline but with frequent Insular letter-forms, particularly d and g.

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