Monday, June 19, 2017

Micro-Catalogue of Manuscripts

Ca. 1845 French textbook for
readingmanuscript writing.
After an exceptionally busy May, I've found it hard to do much in June, either. But I have been able to pull together a tiny little list of eight items in the general category of Manuscripts, with two bonus items. 

The eight manuscripts include only two fragments, with the rest being (more or less) complete in themselves, and they span in date from 1210 to the 1750s. 

The bonus items are school books from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, intended to teach the skill of reading manuscript writing to students.

The earlier, French example appears to take the task even more seriously, and the dozens of examples of script are seemingly arranged in increasing degrees of difficulty: the student who makes it through the entire book, presumably, will be able to read any of the difficult scripts that life in 19th-century France could throw at one. 

Intriguingly, this little French schoolbook also includes an example of handwriting that seems to be explicitly derived from late medieval Gothic script: though I've encountered more than one nineteenth-century French manuscript that was intended to look like a Gothic manuscript, I ever expected that such writing might have been current, to the point of being taught in schools.