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The scribal fingerprint: a graphetic analysis of MS Glasow University Library Hunter 83

Mol, Janneke Susanne (2010) The scribal fingerprint: a graphetic analysis of MS Glasow University Library Hunter 83. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis provides a graphetic analysis of the two hands active in MS Glasgow University Library Hunter 83, a Middle English edition of a Prose Brut text. It is based on the methodology first put forward by Professor McIntosh in 1974, which uses Graphetic and Linguistic Profiles in order to identify scribal idiosyncrasies. By applying the graphetic element of this theory to MS Hunter 83, the main body of this thesis presents two ‘scribal fingerprints’, ultimately singling out graphetic behaviour characteristic of both hands. The primary aim of this thesis is an in-depth analysis of the letter forms which will make up the body of the Graphetic Profiles of the two scribes. However, a further research question will be addressed: since the two scribes have been said in catalogues to write in “mixed” hands, is it possible to describe individual hands as “Secretary” or “Anglicana”, or is a more subtle typology, based on “fuzzy-set” theory, needed? By first establishing the characteristics of both scripts and secondly by comparing them to the two Graphetic Profiles, it is possible to establish the degree of ‘fuzziness’ relating to this established palaeographical terminology. Lastly, and perhaps most interestingly, it may be possible to identify a dialectal difference, since it is said that scribe B wrote in a ‘typical Scottish hand’ (Matheson 1998:205). A Graphetic Profile can shed further light on this assumption and identify the typical Scottish features allegedly present in the hand of this scribe. In sum, this thesis is an attempt to test the validity and value of McIntosh’s analytic procedure on two complex scribal outputs from the end of the Middle English period.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: graphetic profile, graphetic behaviour, Hunter 83, the prose brut tradition, late medieval palaeography, scribal hand, scribal idiosyncrasies, Scottish medieval handwriting, anglicana script, secretary script, letter form
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Professor Jeremy J.
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Miss Janneke Susanne Mol
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1758
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:46
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1758

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