Hand: Main Hand, BL Royal 8.C.vii, fols. 1 and 2
- Main Hand
- BL Royal 8.C.vii, fols. 1 and 2
- Saec. xi in.
- Unknown (Ælfric)
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This hand is mostly bilinear but ascenders and descenders vary in length. Execution is consistent, but the aspect is not especially upright or regular. A thick pen was used with much shading and was held fairly flat. Ascenders are short and have small wedges, can be almost tapering, or can be slightly split. Descenders are mostly quite short and straight and can show short finishing-strokes. Minims normally have regular wedges and rising feet, although m, and n show approach-strokes and separate feet. Square, flat-topped a was used most frequently, the back vertical and the left side curved in slightly, not unlike Conner’s Form II but with a taller and narrower body. One example of a can also be found with a hook from the top right looking not unlike cc a (þa, 2r15; possibly also claþ, 2v21). The flat-topped structure was also used in æ, the tongue of which is usually horizontal and the hook round. Both e and æ can form ligatures which are low or high and bulging, and the e-component of æ can also be open in the high ligature. The back of c is relatively straight and meets the hook at an angle, but no true horn is found. The back of d is more or less horizontal and at cue-height. The body of e is like that of c, and the hook and tongue are like those of æ; the lower curve runs along the base-line and turns up beyond the relatively short top hook. A long tongue is found on f. The tail of g is narrow and normally closed and oblong-shaped but can be open with a flat, horizontal bottom; the mid-section hangs from the centre of the top-stroke, and the top-stroke is narrow and either horizontal or angled up and left. Occasional i-longa is found. The shoulders of h, m, and n are slightly rounded. The shoulder of r ends with a long component sloping down and right; this and a short descender make the letter look very much like majuscule R which often has a prominent approach-stroke. Long, round and low s are all found; long s can be final but is usually initial or before t, and round s was used almost only initially, finally, or when doubled. One example of conjoined t+i is found in a Latin name (Quintianus, 1v13), the form being typical in Phase-IISquare minuscule.Dumville, ‘The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’, p. 178. Only one example of ð is found (wearð, 2v10). The back of ð is long, relatively close to horizontal, and slightly concave up, and the through-stroke is steep and is hooked at both ends. The lower left branch of x is long but relatively restrained, only extending back as far as the preceding minim. The tail of straight dotted y is quite steep, often not reaching the preceding letter, and can bend down almost to the vertical at the base-line. The top of 7 sits at cue-height and is hooked up slightly on the left, and the descender has an upward tick at the end. Latin is found only in names and is not distinguished by script.