Their Hands Before Our Eyes: A Closer Look at Scribes: The Lyell Lectures Delivered in the University of Oxford, 1999by M. B. Parkes
Pub. Date: 09/28/2008
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
This new book by Malcolm Parkes makes a fundamental contribution to the history of handwriting. Handwriting is a versatile medium that has always allowed individual scribes the opportunity for self-expression, despite the limitations of the pen and the finite number of possible movements.The purpose of this study is to focus on the writing of scribes from late
This new book by Malcolm Parkes makes a fundamental contribution to the history of handwriting. Handwriting is a versatile medium that has always allowed individual scribes the opportunity for self-expression, despite the limitations of the pen and the finite number of possible movements.The purpose of this study is to focus on the writing of scribes from late antiquity to the beginning of the sixteenth century, and to identify those features which are a scribe's personal contribution to the techniques and art of handwriting. The book opens with three chapters surveying the various environments in which scribes worked in the medieval West. The following five, based on the author's Lyell Lectures at the University of Oxford, then examine different aspects of the subject, starting with the basic processes of handwriting and copying. Next come discussions of developments in rapid handwriting, with its consequent influence on new alphabets; on more formal 'set hands'; and on the adaptation of movements of the pen to produce elements of style corresponding to changes in the prevailing sense of decorum. The final chapter looks at the significance of some customized images produced by handwriting on the page. The text is illustrated with 69 plates, and accompanied by a glossary of the technical terms applied to handwriting, which in itself makes a significant contribution to the subject.
- Taylor & Francis
- Publication date:
- The Lyell Lectures delivered in the University of Oxford 1999 Series
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.80(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Part I Scribes and Their Environments: Before 1100; 1100-1540 Religious orders in England; 1100-1500 Secular scribes in England: clergy, scholars, professional and commercial scribes. Part II Scribes at Work: Which came first reading or writing? The function and processes of handwriting and the problems of copying; The hasty scribe; cursive handwriting in antiquity and the Middle Ages; Set in their own ways: scribes and book hands c.800-1200; Features of fashion: scribes and style c1200-1500; Through the eyes of scribes and readers: handwriting as image; Part II Glossary, Indexes and Select List of Printed Works: Select glossary of technical terms applied to handwriting; Index of scribes referred to by name or pseudonym; Index of manuscripts cited; Select list of printed works cited; General index.
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