Hand: Main Hand, Canterbury Chart. Ant. H.68
- Main Hand
- Canterbury Chart. Ant. H.68
- Saec. xi1/4
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This document was written with a thin pen and no shading. The script is very angular and slightly forward-leaning, and many of the strokes are straight; downstrokes are upright, and the tops of normally curved letters like a, c, e, h, m, n, are straight and angled slightly upwards. Ascenders are straight and relatively long, sometimes the length of minims but often longer, and have horizontal approach-strokes which create slightly split tops rather than proper wedges. Descenders are longer still but are not particularly straight: they also also lack a consistent curve but instead are slightly shaky and vary in direction. Minims are straight but slightly forward-leaning and are largely parallel; they have wedges or approach-strokes and horizontal feet. An angular, square, horned a was used, the left-hand side of which is often lower than the right, but the letter was otherwise formed much like a u with a straight top. A well-formed and fairly wide teardrop-shaped a was used for æ, the e-component of the same letter is rounded, the tongue is straight, fairly high, and slightly rising tongue, and the lower curve can be shorter, longer, or much the same length as the eye. Horned c was used, the horn being small and formed with a slight leftward curve at the top of the lower stroke, and this lower curve being equal to or slightly wider than the upper one. Horned e was also used with a near-vertical back; the eye, tongue, and lower curve are all the same as in æ. The back of d is always short, and is often straight and angled at about 45°, although the angle varies and the back can be almost horizontal. The hook of f is short, and the tongue is also relatively short. The top of g is flat, the mid-section hangs from slightly to the left and bulges out slightly, then curves smoothly to the right, and the tail turns up in a fairly rounded, closed loop. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all very angular and have vertical down-strokes, but the body of r tends to be narrower than those of the other three letters. Long, low, and round s were all used: long before t and sometimes initially (swyrdes, line 6; the first in scæfternes, line 11; seolfer [sic], line 13; but also the second in ælmesse, line 17), round only initially, and low in any position. Long s rises up to or beyond ascender-height and is often very narrow, and the hook is sometimes angled up steeply before turning down. Round s has a very tight lower section and has a short but taller upper hook. The conventional distinction was largely followed between þ and ð (but ðincg, ðysne, ðe, heriaþ). The back of ð is long, angled at about 70°, and fairly straight but slightly concave down. The cross-stroke is thin, fairly high, and hooked down on the right. The first, left-to-right stroke of x is fairly shallowly angled, but the second stroke is much steeper, hooked left at the top, and extends well below the base-line. Dotted, straight-limbed y was used throughout, the right branch of which is hooked left. The top of 7 is horizontal and at cue-height, and the down-stroke is straight and essentially vertical.