Back in the '70s I was intrigued with graphology, the study of and analysis of handwriting, and still have several books on the subject. It is a controversial method of personality evaluation. Results of most recent surveys on the ability for graphology to assess personality and job performance have been negative. I still, however, find the uniqueness of individual handwriting fascinating. It's a very personal extension of one's self, and I think it reveals quite a lot.
Remember the old Zaner Bloser style of cursive we learned in grade school? I always earned high marks in penmanship because of my artistic ability to copy the letters. I actually would have had a great career as a forger. Have you noticed most young people today don't even use cursive writing? They print. I suppose this is because the keyboard is now used more than the old pen and paper method. Even my own handwriting is a curious mix of printing and cursive.
The romantic side of me cringes at the notion of handwriting, as we know it, becoming totally obsolete. I adore the process, as well as the personal touch, of old fashioned letter writing with ink, pen and paper. It truly is an art form, which I hope we can preserve. I am first to
admit, the internet has certainly played a part in the decline of my own hand written correspondence.
This document above is William Shakespeare's last will and testament, written in his own handwriting. It's in a cursive style called "secretary hand", which was commonly used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It's interesting to note our handwriting today hasn't changed all that much in the last five hundred years. And I hope it continues for at least another five hundred.
top photo: quote from Janet Frame's novel, Towards Another Summer, in