Monday, January 19, 2009

Week 1 Prompt

Week 1 Prompt
Think about the topics from your "What I don't know" or "What I think I know" historical list--some mentioned in class were "what did they write with?" "why didn't Austen marry?" "was there pressure on men to marry?" I'm sure many other questions surfaced in your own mind. Choose one topic and search out the full answer on the web or in the library. Write about what you discovered. Did it surprise you? How has what you learned affected your reading of Pride and Prejudice so far?

i am almost certain that Jane Austen did a majority of her writing with a "quill pen," but am also certain that she was using whatever was common for the era. so when pen changed to metals and not feathers, it is most likely Austen was writing with it. when time passed with her novels, her characters would be writing letters with whatever was fashionable or what was available.

the quill pen doesnt surprise me. i mean, how many countless pictures have we all seen of a woman writing with some feathery romantic pen? knowing what Austen had writen with paints a better picture of what her characters look like (as writing letters back and forth is a major occurance in her novels).

Legit Information + Sources
"Raven or crow feathers were chosen for the finest work. In 1792 Jane Austen used a crow quill to write a poem as a gift for a friend."

"The slit in the nib of the pen allows the ink to travel easily from the barrel storage to the tip when light pressure is applied....Variation in pressure produces thin and thick strokes."

"No two quills write in the same way. Because of the development of the shaft and the carving by the quill maker, each pen is as unique as the writer. So, in Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy’s ‘no thank you I always mend my own’ response to Miss Bingley’s offer to mend his pen ‘remarkably well’ could simply be that he preferred to write with a nib of his own making. But it has always seemed more to me that he was rejecting an attempt on her part at an intimacy he did not welcome."

"By the 18th century the metal pen emerged – a manufactured imitation of its natural predecessors – though it was not in very wide use until the second quarter of the 19th century when advances in production methods made it possible to manufacture them in number."

"Writing implements included the quill pen, an inkstand filled with ink, pen knife, and sometimes a writing box."

"Creating quill pens was an art, since the nib had to be carefully cut with a knife so that the hollow core would hold just the right amount of ink and release it steadily under pressure. If the writer wrote for any length of time, fingers on the writing hand would often become ink stained. Quill pens, most commonly obtained from the wing feathers of a goose, had to be sharpened often with a pen knife. The average quill pen lasted for only a week before it was discarded."

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