Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Reading Shakespeare Is Hard

Handwriting styles are far from immutable,
and Shakespeare's is now nearly inscrutable.

Here is Will's will, courtesy of Wikipedia:

The Wall St. Journal had an article today about Heather Wolfe, an expert in "Secretary Hand", which is the style of cursive used by Elizabethans.

I was amused by this account of her studies in Cambridge, England:

'She thought she would be reading Shakespeare plays. Instead, she was immersed in the archives, learning how to read 400-year-old handwriting. “I had never heard of paleography,” the study of historical handwriting, she said. “There is an addictive quality to it, once you learn how to read it.”'

Who knew old handwriting
could be so exciting?

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