The Missing Ink by Philip Hensher
The Lost Art of Handwriting

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

Within the first few pages Hensher transports us right back to primary school, when we used our HB pencils in those special lined notebooks to trace lower-case cursive As and Os.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

When Philip Hensher realized that he didn't know what a close friend's handwriting looked like ("bold or crabbed, sloping or upright, italic or rounded, elegant or slapdash"), he felt that something essential was missing from their friendship. It dawned on him that having abandoned pen and paper for keyboards, we have lost one of the ways by which we come to recognize and know another person. People have written by hand for thousands of years— how, Hensher wondered, have they learned this skill, and what part has it played in their lives?

The Missing Ink tells the story of this endangered art. Hensher introduces us to the nineteenth-century handwriting evangelists who traveled across America to convert the masses to the moral worth of copperplate script; he examines the role handwriting plays in the novels of Charles Dickens; he investigates the claims made by the practitioners of graphology that penmanship can reveal personality.
But this is also a celebration of the physical act of writing: the treasured fountain pens, chewable ballpoints, and personal embellishments that we stand to lose. Hensher pays tribute to the warmth and personality of the handwritten love note, postcards sent home, and daily diary entries. With the teaching of handwriting now required in only five states and many expert typists barely able to hold a pen, the future of handwriting is in jeopardy. Or is it? Hugely entertaining, witty, and thought-provoking, The Missing Ink will inspire readers to pick up a pen and write.

 

About Philip Hensher

See more books from this Author
Philip Hensher is a columnist for The Independent, an arts critic for The Spectator, and one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. He has written one collection of short stories and eight novels, including The Mulberry Empire, King of the Badgers, and The Northern Clemency, which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. He lives in South London and Geneva.
 
Published November 27, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 285 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Missing Ink
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Abigail Meisel on Mar 15 2013

“The Missing Ink” succeeds in making a strong case for the renaissance of handwriting.

Read Full Review of The Missing Ink: The Lost Art... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by John Mullan on Oct 18 2012

As a history, The Missing Ink is patchy and too anecdotal for its own good...

Read Full Review of The Missing Ink: The Lost Art... | See more reviews from Guardian

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by JAMES CAMPBELL on Dec 21 2012

"The Missing Ink" offers several examples of Mr. Hensher's own handwriting, from which the reader may deduce that he enjoys the image of himself as argumentative and is fond of gay in-jokes.

Read Full Review of The Missing Ink: The Lost Art... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by Marcia Kaye on Nov 30 2012

Within the first few pages Hensher transports us right back to primary school, when we used our HB pencils in those special lined notebooks to trace lower-case cursive As and Os.

Read Full Review of The Missing Ink: The Lost Art... | See more reviews from Toronto Star

Reader Rating for The Missing Ink
69%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 36 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×