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Quills and Writing Alice Equestri Beatrice Mameli

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1 Quills and Writing Alice Equestri Beatrice Mameli

2 The Magic of Writing S e pareba boves alba pratalia araba albo versorio teneba negro semen seminaba (Veronese Riddle) Ic seah wrætlice wuhte feower samed siþian; swearte · wæran lastas, swaþu swiþe blacu. Swift wæs on fore fulgum framra; fleotgan lyfte deaf under yþe. Dreag unstille winnende wiga, se him wægas tæcneþ ofer fæted gold feower eallum. I saw four wonderful creatures advancing together; black were the tracks, so black the path. Swift was its journey, faster than birds, it flew through the air, dove under the wave. Without rest, the warrior(man) taught all four the way over ornate gold.

3 Writing Tools N oi siàn le triste penne isbigotite, le cesoiuzze e l coltellin dolente, chavemo scritte dolorosamente quelle parole che vo avete udite. (Guido Cavalcanti, Rima 18) A dam scriveyn, if ever it thee bifalle Boece or Troylus for to wryten newe, Under thy long lokkes thou most have the scalle, But after my makyng thow wryte more trewe; So ofte adaye I mot thy werk renewe, It to correcte and eke to rubbe and scrape, And al is thorugh thy negligence and rape. (Chaucer, Chaucers wordes unto Adam, his owne scriveyn)

4 Writing Materials Parchment slow and costly process to produce it. Selection of good animal skin (sheep, goats or cows/calves, which gave vellum) Skin was soaked in a water-and- calcium solution after removing all fat and hair. Material was stretched and dried Remnants of flesh/hair were scraped off Paper Invented in China around II century AD Established paper-mills in England: later XV century, but earlier in Italy, Spain and France Made from linen rags Used for cheap textbooks for the use of clerics and students, cheap little volumes of sermons Thought of as an insignificant material – not good for official documents Invention of printing made it indispensable, became cheaper and cheaper; only luxurious books were on parchment

5 The Feather To write we use the primary fly feathers of geese, swans or other large birds (best: the first five outer feathers); Turkey feathers are the best ones but there were no turkeys in Medieval Europe, as they came from America. Left-handed Right wing Right-handed Left wing 1.Vane 2. Rachis 3. Barb 4. Afterfeather 5. Hollow shaft, calamus

6 Making a Quill Pen 1Heat the feather 2Scrape away scales from shaft 3Cut the ending of the shaft 4Clean out the inside of the shaft with a hooked tool 5Remove the afterfeather 6Shape the shaft to form a nib and make a center cut 7Cut the top of the feather and the barb on your side 8Make a reservoir by using a narrow strip of tin (e.g. a soft drink can will do) Now, you can blot a few words… Enjoy!

7 This is a Writing Quill

8 This is NOT a Writing Quill


10 Shakespeare in… Writing Clip from the film Shakespeare in Love (John Madden, 1998) – min 32 ca.

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