History of lower-case letterforms: book ideas?

Maurice Meilleur's picture

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

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

Oh yeah, Mason has it covered. Email james.puckett@gmail.com to get a 150 DPI tiff.

Maurice Meilleur's picture

James, that is one sweet scan. Email on the way.

Florian Hardwig's picture

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:

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