Books About Penmanship

I found in a local charity shop a couple of very old books about penmanship and if there is enough interest I would be willing to consider creating pdf's of them; they are:

Pen Practice by Walter Higgins, published by B T Batsford. This is a 1947 reprint of the 1933-4 second edition in green paper soft back approximately A5 in size.


Pen Lettering For Beginners by Maurice G Down, published by Pitman Press for British Pens Ltd. It is undated and of similar age and also a green paper soft back approximately US Letter size.

It's nice to find curio's like these and they are quite interesting and do appear to provide good beginners guides. I haven't read them throughly but they were a nice find.

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I look forward to seeing them

"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Me too.

I'm interested.

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i am interested as well.

i am interested as well.

yes, please

Please add me to the list of interested parties.

"I want to live in Theory. Everything works there."

The books

Ok, cool what I will do is start scanning and assembling them, there are approximately 100 sides in total including covers, which I will scan as images prior to assembly, so it will take a little while and then I can ask for email addresses to post them on to. I won't be able to start until next week as I have a couple of ongoing projects. Just finished a leather cover for my day per page Moleskine diary and want to work on a circa based hipster PDA and a little job for my partner.



Be careful about publishing your intentions. If they're US books, the copyright won't expire for another 10 years, I think. Isn't it 70 years from date of publication?


Copyright expiry

In the UK it's 70 years after the death of the author.

I'm guessing from the publisher's name that one of the books mentioned is a UK publication.

Is this retroactive, though?

I don't know how the laws are written, but are these retroactive? When the laws were changed a few years ago, there must be a bunch (if not retroactive) of stuff that had already gone public domain that are in that range between 50 and 70 years--my math stinks so I can't figure this stuff out, but i thought that this time frame would be where the fudge factor lies...

Copyright law explanations

There are some explanations of UK and US copyright law here

UK copyright law - http: // copyrightservice dot co dot uk / copyright / p10_duration

Explanation of US copyright law - http: // www dot ivanhoffman dot com / expiration dot html

Please excuse the strange formatting on the addresses - it's the only way I could think to stop this post disappearing into filter-land. Just remove the spaces and replace "dot" with "."

70 years

OK, so 70 years is the magic number.

With a book published in the 40s, we haven't hit 70 years yet, even if the book was published posthumously.

So, be careful about explaining how you'll be scanning, reproducing, etc. Not that I think anyone would care about a copy or two, but when folks are climbing out of the woodwork to say 'me too' then it gets more interesting.


Me Too!

I'd love to see them as well. And I'll never tell a soul where I got them... :)

I never finish anyth

Yes, please

Please add me to your list of interested parties. Thank you.

haven't thought about penmanship since grade school

And I always got Cs in it. I have horrible handwriting. But, recently I've been learning Arabic and apparently I have _beautiful_ Arabic handwriting. So, it must be a matter of concentration and relearning, and not that I'm just destined to have chicken-scratch handwriting. I want to start writing classy handwritten letters, and keep legible journals.

Uhmm, all that to say, yeah, I'm interested too.

But, do keep the copyright issue in mind. Maybe just the TOC and some sample content?

we can send the author some money

I do that when I get things somebody copied, if it seems like the thing to do.

My handwriting post elementary school has been awful. Was it here I read about WORN? That's me. (write once, read never) It would be fun to have a reason to focus on improving...

that might be the best idea

that might be the best idea because the book is most likely not in print more anyway and will likely never be reprinted/

Happy to contact Publishers

If it is a concern I am happy to contact the publishers and explain that the PDF's are not for any commercial purpose and that any interested party would be happy to make a donation to charity etc.

UK law was such that fair use for private study allowed an individual to copy 5% or 1 chapter; in the case of the latter - if it was 1000 page book of 2 chapters was still permissable to copy one chapter, I checked this with the Copyright Licencing Authority some years ago when I used to manage copyright for a college and I don't think this rule has changed so as the books appear to be single chapters etc.

Anyway let me have the general feeling and I will act accordingly.

it could be months or years

it could be months or years before you hear back, and you may not hear back at all. :( :( :(

Levenger stole ALL of my money, but they left me all these nice, shiny organizational tools.

Your right, I intend to make

Your right, I intend to make the pdf's for personal use and I will notify the publishers in due course and post here when the pdf's are ready.

1st Book Ready

Anyone interested please send me your email address; Pen Practice is now in PDF but is currently 8.5MB - any thoughts on compression etc most welcome. Already tried zip and it didn't make alot of difference.


Um, send it to you how?

I couldn't find an email address for you.

Anway, please send a copy to me at SusanBeth (usual symbol) gmail (usual symbol) com

Many thanks for doing all the work for us!

Susan Beth

Contact Tab

If you click on the hypertext of his name on one of his posts, then on the contact tab it will pull up a email form that goes to him.


I too would be interested

Handwriting is something I did not do well in at school -- the many years since first learning cursive have done nothing to improve it. I would like to have a nice handwriting -- so I too am interested.

Email is

The Passionate Pilgrim
-- Excellence through Simplicity

I'd love it too but ...

Handwriting is something I did not do well in at school -- the many years since first learning cursive have done nothing to improve it.

It's the same for me. My handwriting is the result of the proverbial spider using an inkwell as a footspa rather than a human being trying to communicate. There are times (most of the time) when even I can't read it!

I would like to have a nice handwriting -- so I too am interested.

I'd love good handwriting but I've come to the conclusion that after all these years my dyslexia (and the lack of fine motor control component of it) means I'll never improve it. Still I can touch type. ;-)

Speed and practice!

All the advice I've generally seen regarding improving handwriting has to do with slowing down to really properly practice the letterforms, and then to actually practice. Anyone else remember doing lines of letter shapes when you first learned cursive?




I have found that my handwriting actually does improve when I care enough to slow down and actually *write* and not just hurriedly scrawl. As the extent of my writing is generally taking notes at work and signing the occasional birthday card, I will be the first to admit that I don't get nearly enough proper practice in. Hmm, maybe this is a good use for one of those blank books I picked up...

There's quite a robust forum on FPN about this (not linked to avoid spam filtration: ) for the truly curious, though I recommend a good stiff drink before reading as various members' "worst" writing far exceeds anything I've ever produced or am likely to produce.

There's different thoughts on where to anchor your writing hand: I've read that using your elbow as a pivot point is often key to getting nice straight lines of text, as you're not constantly picking up your hand and moving it. Also writing on a slanted surface (like -- shock! -- a writing desk) rather than a perfectly flat plane.

(It's a this point that I usually drag out the Levenger catalog and pretend that I will someday master a lovely Copperplate for my everyday note-taking, if only I had one of those... and that pen... and this notebook... hmmmm...)

One thing that I will recommend highly is that if you're serious about really improving your writing, be equally serious about getting a reasonable writing instrument. I'm not a pen snob by any means, and am a very cheap DIY-er in all respects, but I've found that even a lower-cost fountain pen writes worlds smoother than even my "nice" ballpoints. Keeping a relaxed hand and not bearing down alone has taken my chicken-scratch into the "almost legible by other humans" stage.