Of all of the instruments of war, diplomacy, and revolution, the pen has been the silent giant determining the fate of nations.

-Justin Brundin

In recent posts, I feel I have stepped away from my primary purpose for this site, which is to say, the improvement of the self through the examples of the gentlemen of the 19th Century.

For that I apologize. Odds are good, however, that it will happen again as this is my blog and my brain tends to try to entertain itself - OOOH LOOK A BUTTERFLY!

Anyhoo, one change I have been meaning to embark upon, but have been waiting for the right time, is to take steps to improve upon my penmanship. All one must do is look back at the writings of the 19th century to notice the beautiful and elegant script that everyone seems to have mastered. Even the most basic of ledger entries would rival the skills of a modern calligrapher.

So the first thing I did was buy a flexible nib pen. While I have numerous fountain pens, none of them have the flex necessary to create the line weights you see in the finer writing samples from the 19th century. After a lot of research, I settled on the Noodler's Ahab Flex Pen.

http://noodlersink.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Ivory640.jpg

I chose this particular pen based on numerous positive reviews, it's ability to be modified, and it's insanely inexpensive cost. While $20 seems high for a pen, obtaining a pen of this quality for so low a cost is relatively unheard of. I also purchased some Noodler's Eel Ink.

The next step was establishing which form of handwriting to pursue first. Little did I know there are a great number to chose from. I have decided to go with a somewhat decorative option from the late 19th century called Spencerian, named after the Spencer Brothers who created it. This was taught widely for everyday and professional use.

So that brings you up to date. The next step, is going to be actually doing the work. For that, I have ordered some 19th century penmanship exercise books from Amazon. Yup...I have officially taken this to a level of nerd that I never before thought possible.

So as soon as these arrive, I will begin my penmanship exercises in earnest.
Until next time, be a gentleman.