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As this is a relatively informal cursive hand, letter forms are rather variable. Expect some anomalies. A notable characteristic of 15th century English is variability of spelling. Another is a certain variablitiy in the use of capital letters. They do not always appear where we might expect them, such as at the beginnings of names or book titles, and sometimes appear in places where we do not expect them, at the beginning of ordinary common nouns, or in the case of i, wherever it occurs at the beginning of a word. This is part of the whole i/j controversy. For example in the bottom line the word ibi is written jbi, and this is how it is transcribed by Davis (Davis 1971). I personally would only transcribe it as j in English when it makes the sound we expect, as in jump, but these are conventions. The main thing, in this as in the use of capitalisation, is to choose your convention and use it consistently. I have diverged from Davis in not using j either in ibi or iiii, because it isn't really a j, and I have only used capitalisation where it is actually present in the original, because this is a paleography exercise and you need to recognise what each of the letters are. Modern conventions of capitalisation can be used if you are transcribing something for other people to read for sense.
|List of English Books, 1475-79 (British Library, add. ms. 43491, f.26), by permission of the British Library.|
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