A celebration of the art of handwriting, including samples from famous writers, scientists, and historical figures.
The less it is part of everyday life, the more the appeal of handwriting grows. This wonderful selection of treasures from the Bodleian Library introduces remarkable individuals through documents written in their own hands. From the second century BCE to the present, individual lives and relationships are illuminated through the writing that has been left behind. We see Elizabeth I attempting to win over her new stepmother, Alan Bennett working out the character of Mr. Toad, Henry Moore advising on cleaning methods for his sculptures, and Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin balancing childcare with discovering the structure of penicillin.
Handwritten includes letters, first drafts, autograph books, hastily scribbled notes, fair copies, marked-up proofs, and doodles. Divided into themed categories, the entries feature novelists Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Raymond Chandler; scientists Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein; reformers Emmeline Pankhurst, Florence Nightingale, and Mohandas Gandhi; and explorers Walter Raleigh, T.E. Lawrence, and Patrick Leigh Fermor, among many others. Each of these extraordinary figures has passed on a manuscript or document with a fascinating story to tell.
About the Author
Lesley Smith is a fellow and tutor in politics at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford.
"Like the fine manuscripts it explores, this book rewards all who read it. There is no better way to get closer to people from the past than reading over their shoulders, and through their handwriting we feel an even more intimate connection across time." — Janina Ramirez | cultural historian and broadcaster, University of Oxford