Author Topic: Did Calligraphy used to be considered everyday writing back then?  (Read 1029 times)

Offline Carina_I

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Hello all,

So I was wondering. Back then, did calligraphy (like Copperplate or Spencerian) used to be considered everyday writing? They used to use quill pens (I think they used to make their own pens) and so everyone pretty much wrote with a pointed pen which means they were technically writing with calligraphy (if 'with calligraphy' makes sense). Or am I just overthinking this and back then people learned calligraphy like they do today, and they called it calligraphy. Or maybe since everyone learned calligraphy they thought that calligraphy was regular handwriting . . . am I even making any sense? I'm reading this and it's kind of confusing me. It makes sense in my head, but I'm having trouble articulating my thoughts.

What I am attempting to say is this: everyone learned calligraphy back then. Did they think it was just regular handwriting since that was the way everybody wrote, or did they consider it calligraphy?

Offline AndyT

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Re: Did Calligraphy used to be considered everyday writing back then?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2015, 07:39:20 AM »
That's an interesting question, Carina.  The practice of calligraphy predates the word by many hundreds of years, which seems to have first appeared in the early 17th century.  I strongly suspect that the vast majority of people who have ever learned either style, historically speaking, would have thought of it as acquiring "a fair hand" - handwriting in other words.

May I recommend a couple of videos?  They amount to a couple of hours and the quality is horrible, but it's a good overview of the history of writing from antiquity to the age of the polyester shirt.  :)  The pointed pen bits will all be found in the second one, including a bit about the appalling reality of learning copperplate in 19th century Britain.

Parts 1 and 2
Parts 3 and 4

Offline Carina_I

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Re: Did Calligraphy used to be considered everyday writing back then?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2015, 09:32:05 AM »
Thank you Andy for the videos  :D
I can't wait to watch them  :)