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Trinity 244 And Pynkhurst

By Author: peter
Total Articles: 191

The identification of the work of an individual scribe like Pynkhurst begins with an analysis of the duct and aspect of his hand, features that are not easily categorised but which comprise the height, spread and slant of the individual letter forms and the degree of straightness of the individual lines. In their description of the hand of this scribe Doyle and Parkes consider its size and duct to be its 'most distinctive qualities', and they draw attention to a 'vertical impetus' which results in a tendency towards irregularities in the size of the letters and the degree of slant. Doyle and Parkes also comment on tne uniformity of sucVi features in their detailed Links Of London Charms description of Hengwrt, attributing any variation to breaks in the scribe's access to his copy. Mooney's detailed analysis of Pynkhurst's hand begins with a description of its aspect, drawing attention to the tendency to space letters far apart, even when they are connected with ligatures.

Mooney too notes the way that the letters are stretched vertically, giving the text a large and upright appearance that leads to some spacing difficulties. The duct shows a marked distinction between wider and narrower strokes, leading to the formation of spikes where curved strokes meet, and 'spiked turnings' for feet at the base of certain letters. It is these features that are most idiosyncratic and constitute what Doyle and Parkes liken to a 'personal physiognomy' and define as 'a unique ensemble of common elements which is only recognized after some (though not necessarily a long) acquaintance, in comparison with others of the same genetic group'. These features are likely to remain constant across a variety of types of copying commission and so are of primary importance in detecting cases of scribal identity. Fletcher does consider aspect in his assessment, noting important differences between that of Trinity 244 and Pynkhurst. But in attempting to reconcile the aspectual differences between Trinity 244 and other Pynkhurst manuscripts Fletcher focuses on differences in the use of individual letter forms, such as the choice between short and long r, looped and loopless d and the use of forked ascenders. This discussion of individual letterforms does not address those features of aspect highlighted by Doyle and Parkes, with the result that the entire basis for the identification is concerned with individual graphs.

Doyle and Parkes also list distinctive letterforms in their characterisation of the scribe's hand, but these letterforms are not intended to form the basis of identification, rather they are Links Of London Bracelets intended as a way of explaining and demonstrating the distinctive features of the duct and aspect described above. Individual letter-forms are less reliable criteria for the purposes of identification because scribes often varied the selection of individual graphs they employed across the manuscripts they copied. This is true of Pynkhurst, whose use of certain variant letterforms differs across the many different types of text he copied. For instance, single-compartment secretary a is common only in the margins of Hengwrt and Ellesmere, but it is the usual form in the text column in Pynkhurst's contribution to the Trinity College Cambridge manuscript of Gower's Confessio Amantis Both Hengwrt and the Trinity Gower include instances of 6-shaped s terminally, though it is only very rarely found in this position in Ellesmere. By basing his analysis on individual letterforms rather than on duct and aspect, Fletcher fails to notice the considerable disparity between the characteristics of Pynkhurst's hand and that of Trinity 244. This is apparent in his analysis of the individual letterforms themselves, where he overlooks the absence of many idiosyncratic features, placing considerable weight upon generic features that are typical of anglicana formata of this period.

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