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.
A smart, entertaining book about the rise and slow death of the art of handwriting; and why it still matters
'Part social history, part memoir ... funny and fascinating' Sunday Times Culture 'The wisest and wittiest argument imaginable for the preservation of handwriting. I have learnt so much, and by it have been so happily entertained, that I am compelled to recommend it to everyone' Diana Athill 'Like a charming dinner guest, [Hensher] brims with fun facts, sharp insights and wry wit' Abigail Meisel, New York Times Book Review 'Delightful ... [Hensher] laments the decline of handwriting, not in a precious way, not because he wishes everyone were a quill-wielding aesthete, but because it's a human activity that could be forgotten, or ignored, or done badly, or done well, and why not do it well? I'm with him all the way' Philip Pullman 'This witty, heartfelt book conveys superbly the pleasures of writing by hand and the role it still has to play in our lives' Sunday Times 'Conveys superbly the pleasures of writing by hand and the role it still has to play in our lives' Ian Critchley, Sunday Times 'Its advocacy of one of the most humane and pleasurable forms of self-expression is pretty much irresistible' Guardian 'A manifesto for the virtues of penmanship ... written with passion and thoughtfulness' Philip Womack, Telegraph 'As fewer people write by hand, some of us who do venture to squeak a thin call of alarm, like mice behind the frescoes during the last days of Pompeii. Philip Hensher voices dismay more manfully in this eloquent account of what has been and will be lost by the ending of this ancient habit' Eric Christiansen, Spectator