Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting by Kitty Burns Florey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As a lifelong fancier of all things having to do with handwriting and pens, I adored this book and wished that I, too, had samples of my handwriting from childhood to the present.
Florey peppers the chapters with marginalia, including a response to her own rhetorical question about whether we should be concerned about being able to read old aunt Gertrude's illegible diary: no, because "everyone named Gertrude was thoroughly instructed in penmanship in school."
The author sent samples of her own deteriorated scribble to Kate Gladstone, who e-mailed many pages of suggestions, including a dandy idea for how to write a lower-case "k." (First a downward stroke, then a quick, upward hook, followed by a separate, graceful downstroke.) I intend to get a copy of Getty's Write Now and start working on changing my idiosyncratic little letters into something with some class!
My favorite sentence in the book comes from a discussion of graphology and its connections to ancient beliefs:
A bronchiomancer could divine the will of the gods from the pattern made by a set of llama lungs hurled against a flat rock.
How can you not love a book that includes such a sentiment?
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