Hand: Main Hand, BL Harley 2110, fols. 4* and 5*
- Main Hand
- BL Harley 2110, fols. 4* and 5*
- Saec. xi1
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This hand is fairly rounded with moderately level cue-height, a relatively open spaced appearance, and using a thin pen with some shading. Ascenders vary in length but are no longer than minims; they are quite thin, more or less straight, and have small but pointed and relatively wide wedges. Descenders are straight and often quite short but can be as long as minims and are particularly long on the last lines of pages. Minims are slightly curved with approach-strokes and horizontal feet. The body of a is more or less teardrop-shaped; it can have a pointed top but is usually more rounded, and it can also be quite wide. A similar range of forms was used for æ; the tongue is straight and rises slightly, and the hook round. Round c was used, the upper and lower strokes of approximately the same width. The back of d is short, round, and angled at about 30–45°. Horned e was used with a vertical back, a low round hook, and a long, straight rising tongue. The tongue of f is tapering, turned up at the tip, and relatively long, and the hook branches from well below cue-height. The mid-section of g is round, relatively large, and hangs from the left of the long, flat top which in turn is usually joined to the following letter. The tail of g is round and three-quarters closed, or fully closed with a very thin hairline. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all very similar to one another: they branch below cue-height, rise more or less diagonally, then turn smoothly into the down-stroke. Round, low, and long s are all found: round is usually used initially, low is very infrequent, and long usually final and when doubled, but sometimes even before t. Round s has a small upper hook and a laid-back appearance. The scribe used ð much more frequently than þ. The back of ð is relatively long and thick and is usually slightly concave down, and the through-stroke is short, barely passes through the back, and has a very heavy downward hook. Both strokes of x are rounded, and the south-west branch descends somewhat below the base-line. Straight dotted y was used throughout, with a thick straight left branch, a hooked and often slightly lower right branch, and a tail hooked right. The top of 7 is straight but with an upward hook on the left; the descender is straight but angled slightly back to the left.