28 January 2013

Script & Scribble - a review

Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of HandwritingScript 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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KSD said...

You can't not love that book. On my way to Amazon.

Fortunately (?), I do have a lot of samples of my childhood writing. Let's just say it was serviceable.

Melwyk said...

So glad you've read this book! I loved it immensely. May even be time for a reread...she mentions so many things that I need to follow up on, creating a much longer list of reading once more! And of course, I want to learn a nice Italic hand...

Annie said...

So glad to come across this recommendation - thank you, teabird!

Carrie K said...

I just finished her book on diagramming sentences! And was practicing my McGuffey script this morning. I'm horrible at it. But I hate having the handwriting of a high school girl.

Off to see if my library has either of those books....