George Bickham's Penmanship Made Easy (Young Clerks Assistant)by George Bickham
George Bickham was an enterprising eighteenth-century engraver and calligrapher who promoted the practice of proper penmanship. This volume, an unabridged reprint of his now extremely rare calligraphy manual, The Young Clerks Assistant, provided "young practitioners" with much valuable information on how to write not only legibly but also with beauty and grace.
The book begins with "Directions for Learners," a series of helpful hints on forming letters, holding the pen, arm and wrist positions, proper posture, and so on, followed by a wealth of calligraphic specimens: alphabets, maxims, didactic verses, and other words of advice for elevating the moral standards of the young.
For modern calligraphers, Bickham's guide offers an abundance of models for imitation and provides a delightful look back at the instruction manuals and teaching methods of the mid-1700s. Enhanced with many charming engravings, this hard-to-find antique teaching tool can be read as easily for pleasure as for inspiration. It will appeal to calligraphers, graphic artists, and any devotee of fine penmanship.
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I wanted a book to show me the style of penmanship I see in old ledger books or diaries or the book-owners writing in the bookplates, dating to the dip nib days. This is it! This documents daily penmanship, NOT calligraphy. It is the hand of the people, when people had pride in penmanship. True, the method of communicating it is a little bizarre by today's standards, but the content is there and the price is right.
I have trouble calling this a book. It's a bound collection of calligraphy, and not very good calligraphy at that. There are no lessons or instructions. The letters are in a varity of sizes with a very fine point. Many letters are unreadable. Penmanship should be to help communicate by written word. This book does not help with anything. Don't waste your money. I'm sending the book back.