As in, lessons in writing, quite literally. Not typing. Not printing. Writing. If you’re using that artifact of yore, the fountain pen, how do you know the proper way to hold it, the proper way to angle it on the page, the proper pressure to apply, lest you unknowingly ruin the nib — and are thus forced to revert to less glamorous/capricious means of self-expression? I happen to write most of my fiction longhand–with a fountain pen, no less. The question for me was more than academic when I first held the alien instrument.
I was happy to discover that I wasn’t the first, and that my concern was in no way a product of the modern age of paperless communication. Here, a primer from A new booke, containing all sorts of hands (1611), from the Folger Shakespeare Library:
And here, a modern version, courtesy of Montblanc, which I have to admit is much like the original, if a touch less poetic:
I think I’m more impressed by 1611. “How you ought to hold your penne.” Good, naught. How can you not love it?