Black Letter Print really does suck. Really really hard. They totally had roman typeface by the 16th century too, so I don't want to hear about early print and this bullshit being the only style available.
Many of you may know of the Internet phenomenon that is LOLCats. Slightly less of you may know how crazy/awesome early modern woodcut illustrations and frontispieces can be. But what joins these two disparate worlds? Well, it may surprise you to know how popular LOL-ing was in the Renaissance. To wit:
"The large Achilles, on his press'd bed lolling, / From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause; / Cries 'Excellent!'" --Troilus and Cressida (1.3.163-5)Shakespearean proof you can't refute! Welcome to LOL Manuscripts! ----------------------------------------- (P.S. I know they aren't all "manuscripts," but LOL Early Modern Printed Materials didn't have the same ring to it. LOLNomenclature! Let it go.)
2 BE, OR NOT 2 BE : DAT IZ TEH QUESHUN: WHETHR TIS NOBLR IN DA MIND 2 SUFFR TEH SLINGS AN ARROWS OV OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE, OR 2 TAEK ARMS AGAINST SEA OV TROUBLEZ, AN BY OPPOSIN END DEM? 2 DYE: 2 SLEEP; NO MOAR; AN BY SLEEP 2 SAY WE END TEH HART-AYKE AN TEH THOUSAND NACHURAL SHOCKZ DAT FLESH IZ HEIR 2, TIS CONSUMMASHUN DEVOUTLY 2 BE WISHD. 2 DYE, 2 SLEEP; 2 SLEEP: PERCHANCE 2 DREAM: AY, THARS TEH RUB; 4 IN DAT SLEEP OV DEATH WUT DREAMS CUD COME WHEN WE HAS SHUFFLD OFF DIS MORTAL COIL, MUST GIV US PAUSE: THARS TEH RESPECT DAT MAKEZ CALAMITY OV SO LONG LIFE...