Handwriting analysts have a field day with TASCHEN's latest book. Titled The Magic of Handwriting the 464-page volume offers a rare glimpse into the intimate life and correspondence of some of the most recognizable names in history.
In modern times, the manuscript is a dying art, which makes it all the more significant that the writing of almost 900 years is kept in vivid detail in the book. A letter written a year before the French Revolution shows the pretty signature of Marie Antoinette in small letters. In contrast, the handwritten manuscripts of the French writer Marcel Proust were desperately scribbled on the scraps of paper he could find. Charlie Chaplin sometimes enclosed a sketch of his signature hat and cane while signing autographs, and Sitting Bull, the Hunkpapa Lakota leader known for his courage in battle, dotted with his i Heart or ] vs .
These artefacts come from the collection of Pedro Corrêa do Lago, a Brazilian art historian and curator who has, over the years, acquired thousands of handwritten letters, manuscripts, autographed photographs and musical compositions. The book contains over 1
In addition to various typefaces, the book also shows little-known historical facts figures and insight into their personality. There is a handwritten statement by Sigmund Freud, who has charged a client 2000 shillings (nearly $ 500 in 1934 or about $ 9400 today) for 20 hours of psychoanalysis. When his patient tried to negotiate a lower price, Freud replied, "I am still forced to earn a living. I can not perform more than five hours of analysis daily; and I do not know how much longer I'll work on it.
Ernest Hemingway's Snark is fully featured in a Who's Who questionnaire that he had completed in 1930 for the publishing house Scribner: "Yes." Under "hobbies" he listed skiing, fishing, shooting and drinking.
For more stories like this, order a copy of The Magic of Handwriting on the TASCHEN website or on Amazon.