Hand: Main Hand, Dorset RO D.124, 2

Main Hand
Dorset RO D.124, 2
Saec. xi1
Central Production (?)

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

This scribe wrote a not especially regular hand which shows a fairly uneven cue-height and rounded strokes but not particularly rotund letters. A round pen was used in the main text with minimal shading, but the boundary-clause was written in slightly smaller script with a thinner pen; the writing here is messier than the main text but the proportions are similar. Ascenders are often quite short, particularly for þ, and have heavy wedges. Descenders are also short and turn slightly left at the tip. Minims have approach-strokes and horizontal feet, and descenders have wedges at cue-height. A rounded but essentially teardrop-shaped a was used, although the back can be vertical and the letter pointed at the top. A similar rounded form was used for æ, the tongue of which is high and straight, and the hook rounded and extending slightly above cue-height. Tall æ is sometimes found before t or a descender, in which case the hook is slightly open. Round c was used throughout. The back of d is short, usually straight, often horizontal but sometimes angled up, and sometimes horizontal but vertical-tipped. Round e is found throughout with a tongue straight and rising but turned down at the tip when final. The tongue of f is long and flat. The top of g is short, and the mid-section begins at the centre or left, swings slightly left and then back to the right, and then curves into an open hook with a horizontal tip. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all moderately rounded, all start below cue-height, and all tend to turn back slightly to the left. The foot of r is horizontal. Low s was used in final position, long s before t, and round s initially and also in ælfsige, the only example of medial s not before t. The form of low s is slightly unusual and is perhaps closer to Caroline, extending only slightly below the base-line and reaching slightly above cue-height. Long s, in contrast, extends even less below the base-line but reaches ascender-height and ends with a small hook. The scribe seemed to have some difficulty with round s, the upper hook small of which is and above cue-height, and the lower hook very large and often extending below the base-line; the result is therefore like a capital even when medial or without preceding punctuation. The conventional distinction was followed between þ and ð but with one exception (pæþ, line 12). The back of ð is very straight, quite long, and angled at about 45°; the through-stroke is hooked down on the right. One example of ð in the witness-list has a shorter and thicker back, angled at about 40°, and a second turns up very slightly at the tip. Straight-limbed dotted y was written throughout with the left branch at a relatively low angle, the right branch hooked left, and the tail tapering. The top of 7 is short and flat, and the descender begins slightly above cue-height, and a single example is found in which the top is rising and hooked up at the left. Latin is distinguished by script.

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