“Many of you know that in addition to my day job, I have a weird hobby of making fonts for medievalists. This one is a little bit later than the Middle Ages, but may still be of interest.
I have just released a font called “Joscelyn,” which I call “an uncompromising secretary hand font” because, unlike any other secretary hand font I have seen, it makes no concessions to modernity. It is based on the main hand of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS 488, John Joscelyn’s Historiola Collegii Corporis Christi. The hand (not Joscelyn’s own) is rather formal, and so less difficult than many secretary hands, but it is as near as I’ve been able to come so far to an authentic reproduction of the hand.
When I teach paleography, the most difficult bit for my students is always the last–secretary hand. The idea behind this font is that a decent way to learn this difficult hand might be to (1) install the font, (2) start a Microsoft Word file by double-clicking an included template, (3) apply the “Joscelyn” character style, (4) type whatever you like, and (5) just observe. The authenticity of the font depends on seveal OpenType features being enabled, but the template turns them on for you.
At the risk of sounding immodest, I have to say that it’s fun to type in this font and see the OpenType features applied in real time–s changed into long s, initial and final forms applied, and much more. And in addition, you can pass as much time as you like playing with the font without running the smallest risk of contracting COVID-19!
The font is free (licensed under the Open Font License). You can get it here:
Stay well, everyone.
Professor and Director of Graduate Admissions
Department of English
University of Virginia” (MEDTEXTL)