Hand: Hand 1 (fols. 1–114, 130–79r10), BL Harley 585
- Hand 1 (fols. 1–114, 130–79r10)
- BL Harley 585
- Saec. x/xi
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
The hand varies widely in aspect and proportions. It can be quite close to Square minuscule, with relatively short ascenders, squarer bodies of letters, and relatively small wedges, but it can also be very spidery, with longer ascenders, large pointed wedges, and tapering descenders, in which case it is not unlike G.338-1. These variations are gradual, and the letter-forms are consistent throughout, which suggest that there is no change in hand. Pen-lift is minimal: as well as the tongue of e being ligatured to following letters, g and low s are frequently written with a single stroke. Minims show very short approach-strokes and small feet; the upper part of the stroke, in particular, is normally curved and the stroke itself often swells when a thicker pen was used. Teardrop-shaped a was used throughout, although the cc form was also used occasionally. An essentially round æ was also used, although the top can be fairly straight and the back of the e-component can reach slightly beyond the bowl of the a-component, and horned æ is also found. Round c was used, as was d with a short, rounded back. Horned e was used throughout, the back of which is fairly straight, the tongue horizontal and at cue-height, and the hook wide. The tongue of f can be short, can be slightly concave down, but can also extend well to the left of the down-stroke and can even be hooked up on the left and down on the right. The mid-section of g hangs from the right of the top-stroke, is extremely long, and descending diagonally well below the base-line before turning back to the right to form a tight, open tail. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all quite rounded. Low s is the more common, but the round form occurs not infrequently, as does tall s before t, and low s can be very deeply split. The toe of t is turned up. The scribe preferred ð to þ, using the latter in initial position but the former anywhere. The back of ð is particularly prominent and curves up steeply, and the cross-stroke is very thin and hooked down at the tip. The north-east branch of x is hooked left, and the south-west branch is long and is hooked right. Straight-limbed dotted y was used, the left branch curving left, the right branch hooked left, and the tail hooked right. Latin is not distinguished by script.