Hand: Grammar Hand 2 (53r–79v23), BL Harley 3271
- Grammar Hand 2 (53r–79v23)
- BL Harley 3271
- Saec. xi1/3
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
The aspect of this hand varies much more than that of G.435-1. Early in his stint, this scribe wrote letters which have square bodies and which are a similar size to that of the preceding quires, but his writing became larger and more rounded as he progressed, even though the ascenders and descenders remained about the same length. Ascenders are never longer than minims — by the end of the stint they are much shorter — and have small, slightly barbed wedges. Descenders are usually shorter again and are more or less straight. Minims can be very curved, particularly in the later stages, and are not always connected to each other but are consistently formed even for i, u, and a; this produces a strong sense of parallel curves and can make the script quite difficult to read. Minims are also quite tall relative to the ruling on the page and to the width of letters. The back of a can be fairly vertical, with the resultant letter more or less teardrop-shaped, but much more often the top and back were formed with a single sloping curved stroke, and the left side is somewhat convex but curves well back in to the left, giving the letter something of a backward lean. Much the same form was used for æ, the tongue of which is normally high and horizontal and the hook round and squinting, although a narrow tall hook was used when in ligature. Round but narrow c was used throughout. Bilinear d was used, the back of which is very slightly concave down and extends to the left of the body. Round e was normally used, the hook and tongue of which are like those of æ; like æ, however, the hook of e can also be tall and narrow in ligature, in which case the back is vertical and the letter horned. The tongue of f is flat, on the base-line, and about the same length as the hook. The top of g is short and flat, and the mid-section hangs from the centre or right and can be more or less vertical or can be angled more left; in either case it turns right, sometimes quite sharply, and then curves around in an open loop and is hooked up at the tip. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all quite rounded. Low s was used throughout. Tall s is also found, initially only in Latin but later in Vernacular script as well, though most often before t. The scribe showed a strong preference for ð over þ. The body of ð is very round; the back is long, straight, and angled at about 60–70°; and the through-stroke is hooked down on the right. Straight-limbed dotted y was used throughout, the right branch hooked left and the tail hooked right; on the last line of the page, the tail of y can be very long and hooked right at the tip. The top of 7 is wide and slightly concave up. Latin is not distinguished by script, except that a tall, narrow form of Caroline s was used normally for Latin and not normally for Old English.