Hand: Hand 4 (fols. 115–129), BL Harley 585
- Hand 4 (fols. 115–129)
- BL Harley 585
- Saec. xi1
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This hand is fairly regular, shows a somewhat level cue-height, and was written with a medium-width pen which was held fairly flat and which shows much shading. The aspect changes throughout the stint, however, and by the end the hand is more backward-leaning and shows much less shading. Ascenders are about the length of minims, and can show very small wedges, can be tapering, or can show no decoration. Descenders are longer than minims and are pointed. Minims show short approach-strokes and horizontal feet. Teardrop-shaped a was used, the back of which is fairly thick and fairly straight but not especially upright. A similar form was used for æ, the tongue of which is horizontal and just below cue-height, and the hook small but rises above cue-height even when not in ligature. Round c was used, the lower curve longer than the hook. The back of d is fairly short and can be concave down or straight and angled at about 45°. Horned e was used, the back of which is fairly upright, and the tongue and hook like those of æ. The tongue of f is fairly long and concave-up, and the hook branches from well below cue-height. The top of g is flat, the mid-section hangs from the right, curves well to the left and back to the right, and the tail is open and approximately horizontal at the tip; the resulting form is therefore somewhat 3-shaped. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are not especially angular, but the down-strokes are relatively thick and straight. Low s is normal, including before wynn, but tall s was used consistently before t and occasionally in the word slite. Low s is deeply split, and tall s has a fairly wide hook, and the down-stroke tapers slightly below the base-line. The scribe mostly followed the conventional distinction between þ and ð. The back of ð is not especially long, is straight, and is angled at about 45°, and the through-stroke is hooked down on the right. The top branches of x curve down, the lower branches curve up, and the lower left branch is long. Straight-limbed dotted y was used throughout, the right branch of which is hooked left. The top of 7 is fairly flat and fairly narrow, and the down-stroke is vertical.