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Newberry Library — Edward Cocker's 1664 "Guide to Penmanship" Excerpts


The link is to my Google Photos album, my photos taken at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Please do cite this page on lettering.com as the source, if you repost or use my photos!

Please see my photos, taken at the Newberry Library Special Collections (Google Photos Album)

Title Page: "The guide to penmanship. A copy book containing sundry examples of secretary, text, Roman, Italian court and chancery hands. With extraordinary rules and directions for making, holding & managing the pen, and for the exact and speedie writing of every hand"
Newberry Library Wing folio ZW 645 .C6348

The Writing Book of Edward Cocker, 17th C English writing master, of particular interest for the text at the end, explaining the choice of a Pen Knife and the cutting of a Quill for different purposes.

Cocker's lettering and pen illustrations are generally florid, but masterful, in the style of the period.
Still, he is quite modest in his language and does not spend any time disparaging the work of rivals!

For more see my Google Photos album.

From his final advice to the scholar of penmanship:

9. Move your Hand and Pen swiftly above the Paper, imagining that done on the Paper which you propose to do, whether Strokes, Letters, Knots &c. and when your Fancy works so strongly as to the perfect form and manner of what you intend, as that you could almost think it done, then put Pen to Paper, and with a bold free motion, do it indeed.