History of lower-case letterforms: book ideas?

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Maurice Meilleur's picture
Joined: 3 Nov 2004 - 8:13pm
History of lower-case letterforms: book ideas?
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I've been reading about the history of modern European Latin letterforms, working from the assumption that the modern alphabet is actually a combination in practice of Roman capitals, Carolingian miniscule, and italic cursives, corresponding to our present-day uppercase, lowercase, and italics.

I've found good sources on the history of Roman letterforms (e.g., Gray's History of lettering) and on the history of italics (e.g., Morison's Early italian writing books and Atkins's Masters of the italic letter), but does anyone have recommendations for the precursors of the lower case Latin forms?

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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There’s a chapter about origins of Latin minuscules in The 26 Letters. There’s probably also information scattered around in the European chapters of Mason’s The History of the Art of Writing, but given what a copy costs, skim around at a library first.

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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Oh yeah, Mason has it covered. Email james.puckett@gmail.com to get a 150 DPI tiff.

Maurice Meilleur's picture
Joined: 3 Nov 2004 - 8:13pm
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James, that is one sweet scan. Email on the way.

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007 - 6:41am
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Some outstanding illustrations in this one, too: [[Hans Eduard Meier]]: Entstehung der Handschrift [PDF, 1.3mb]

Those are taken from Meier’s book Die Schriftentwicklung. The Development of Script and Type. Sulgen (CH): Niggli. 48 pages, German/French/English, ISBN: 978-3-7212-0434-6

The evolution(s) of the letter g: