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Medieval History

Journal

2020

Valparaiso University

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Full-Text Articles in History

‘Written In A Fair Hand’: The Living Tradition Of Medieval Scripts In J.R.R. Tolkien’S Calligraphy, Eduardo B. Kumamoto Sep 2020

‘Written In A Fair Hand’: The Living Tradition Of Medieval Scripts In J.R.R. Tolkien’S Calligraphy, Eduardo B. Kumamoto

Journal of Tolkien Research

This paper examines J.R.R. Tolkien’s calligraphic work in the light of the medieval scripts that possibly or certainly inspired him, aiming to demonstrate how his art was informed by the philological and paleographical dimensions. At first, we explore the context in which Tolkien’s calligraphic skills flourished. After that, the influence of the Anglo-Saxon Square Minuscule, the Insular Half-uncial, and the Uncial scripts is investigated by means of examples taken from Tolkien’s illustrations and manuscripts. The impact of the English Carolingian Minuscule, via Edward Johnston’s Foundational Hand, is also discussed. In the last section, the ...