Learning to write with a quill pen at the Rare Book Summer
School at the University of Otago yesterday are Sienna
Latham, of Wellington, and Yu Lee An, of Sydney. Photo by
The hand of William Shakespeare came back to life in
Dunedin yesterday. A rare book palaeography, or handwriting,
course at the University of Otago Summer School this week has
been teaching students how to write like the bard.
As part of the course, students have been learning to write
with quill pens, made from goose wing feathers.
''The course is about how to read the handwriting of
Shakespeare's time, which was called `secretary hand',''
tutor Dr Heather Wolfe said. Dr Wolfe is curator of
manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library, in Washington
''All the manuscripts we are using are 400 years old, or
older. It is difficult to learn to read this handwriting,
because the letter forms are so different. Half the challenge
is forgetting the modern alphabet and learning a new system
of spelling other strange and unfamiliar forms,'' she said.
Students came from as far afield as Australia for the course.
''I'm doing it because I want to be a rare books librarian,''
Yu Lee An, of Sydney, said.
The rare book course finishes tomorrow.