The Missing Ink: How Handwriting Made Us Who We Are
When Philip Hensher realized that he didn’t know what a close friend’s handwriting looked like, he felt that something essential was missing from their friendship. But does it really matter that typing and texting have largely taken the place of passionate love letters, secret diary entries and postcards home?
From the crucial role of handwriting in a child’s development, to the novels of Dickens and Proust – and whether a person’s writing really reveals their true personality – The Missing Ink goes in search of the stories and characters that have shaped our handwriting, and how it in turn has shaped us.
The Missing Ink tells the story of this endangered art.
Hensher introduces us to the nineteenth-century handwriting evangelists who traveled across America to convert the masses to the moral worth of copperplate script; he examines the role handwriting plays in the novels of Charles Dickens; he investigates the claims made by the practitioners of graphology that penmanship can reveal personality.
But this is also a celebration of the physical act of writing: the treasured fountain pens, chewable ballpoints, and personal embellishments that we stand to lose.
Hensher pays tribute to the warmth and personality of the handwritten love note, postcards sent home, and daily diary entries.
With the teaching of handwriting now required in only five states and many expert typists barely able to hold a pen, the future of handwriting is in jeopardy. Or is it?
Hugely entertaining, witty, and thought-provoking, The Missing Ink will inspire readers to pick up a pen and write.