Hand: Prayers (190v–96v), BL Royal 2.B.v

Prayers (190v–96v)
BL Royal 2.B.v
Saec. x/xi

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

The letters are quite small in comparison to the line-ruling and have a somewhat spidery appearance even though the bodies are quite rounded. A thin pen was used with some shading was achieved. Ascenders are usually comparable to minims in length; they show wedges which vary from flat-topped, symmetrical about a horizontal axis, or symmetrical about the vertical ascender. Descenders are slightly shorter than ascenders on average; they are straight but taper slightly, sometimes with a very slight turn left. Minims have small wedges or approach-strokes and relatively large feet. Round a was used most commonly, the top and right of which were formed with a single stroke. Semi-Caroline a is also found, and one example of cc a also appears, although this may have been an alteration (the second in aþa with gewrita inserted, 190v13). Both rotund and semi-Caroline æ are found with a low hook which can be just above cue-height and a straight tongue which can be angled upwards. The bowls of b, d, and o were often clumsily formed. The back of d varies in angle but is nearly horizontal and close to cue-height. Round c is found throughout with a short hook. The structure of e is like that of æ and is often round, although horned e is also found. The tongue of f is just above and usually touching the base-line; it can be angled up slightly and can just pass through the down-stroke. The tail of g is small, open, and can curve either up or down at the tip, and the mid-section is short, fairly vertical, and hangs from the centre of the relatively short top-stroke. The shoulder of h can be quite angular, and the letter often lacks feet and thereby is close to, or is, Caroline. The shoulders of m, n, and r are slightly swollen. The o 2 monogram appears once in a vernacular context (Forgif, 194v4). Long and low s are found, the former more common. Long s has a small thin wedge and small hook; it can sit on the base-line but normally tapers somewhat below it. Low s is normal in final position, and the hook branches from close to the base-line. Round s is found twice in forgifnesse on 193r9 but at the end of the line and perhaps written in rasura. The scribe seemed to favour þ at first over ð but soon began following the conventional distinction, if with some exceptions. The back of ð is usually long, curved, and tapering, the tip being turned up or even back to the right, and the through-stroke sometimes turned up; some particularly clumsy forms are found where the back passes through the bowl in the north-west quadrant. Round dotted and almost bilinear y was used; one example of the straight dotted form can be found (gyltas, 195r11), but it is particularly poorly written. The top of 7 is relatively short and rises slightly, and the descender is angled left.

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