Script and Scribble

The Rise and Fall of Handwriting

By Kitty Burns Florey
(Melville House Publishing, Hardcover, 9781933633671, 190pp.)

Publication Date: January 20, 2009

List Price: $22.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the February 2009 Indie Next List
“Tracing the story from the earliest cave scribblings to the Palmer Method to today's text-message-composed novels, this is a great read for anyone who has ever agonized over their signature, wondered what the slant on their 'l' means, or deplored the state of penmanship in today's typing world.”
-- Jenn Northington, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT


Steeped in the Palmer Method of Handwriting she learned in Catholic school, Kitty Burns Florey is a self-confessed “penmanship nut” who loves the act of taking pen to paper. So when she discovered that schools today forego handwriting drills in favor of teaching something called keyboarding, it gave her pause: “There is a widespread belief that, in a digital world, forming letters on paper with a pen is pointless and obsolete,” she says, “and anyone who thinks otherwise is right up there with folks who still have fallout shelters in their backyards.”

Florey tackles the importance of writing by hand and its place in our increasingly electronic society in this fascinating exploration of the history of handwriting. Weaving together the evolution of writing implements and scripts, pen-collecting societies, the golden age of American penmanship, the growth in popularity of handwriting analysis, and the many aficionados who still prefer scribbling on paper to tapping on keys, she asks the question: Is writing by hand really no longer necessary in today’s busy world?

About the Author
Kitty Burns Florey, a veteran copyeditor, is the author of nine novels (Solos, Souvenir of Cold Springs) and many short stories and essays. With her husband, Ron Savage, she divides her time between central Connecticut and upstate New York.
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