An extremely readable nineteenth century script or - probably - substitute?

Demmy's picture

Hi there,

Any one of you chaps know how I can present a long letter, as if handwritten by a woman a hundred and fifty years ago (or so - plenty of leeway) that can be smoothly read? I know there are lots of good period scripts out there (I rather like three island’s emilyaustin for example), but of course unreadable strain for more than a few lines. What can I do? Use a plantin or somesuch and kiss off any suggestion of a letter effect? Or is there some weird hybrid period-piece script-serif (for indeed the ‘letter effect’ can be served by the vaguest of hints) I can use that you might know of?

Many thanks for reading.


HVB's picture

The styles of handwriting 150-300 years ago were so different than today's that any might be difficult to read today. Well, at least they HAD style.

Just a few off the top of my head

Spencerian Scripts are nice but more formal
Abbeyline (free)

Or possibly one of the Staunton scripts:

- Herb

Frode Bo Helland's picture

If this is in the context of a book or a magazine, I’d consider just setting the passage in italics and indenting both margins to separate it from the rest of the content.

oldnick's picture

One of the loveliest script/semiscripts I have come across is one called Grolier, which one may presume had to do with the Grolier Society, who published a great set of children's books in the early twentieth century, called The Book of Knowledge—which it was. In fact, it was twelve books of knowledge, along with a lot of things to make and do—which were in a surprising apt volume by themselves, entitled…guess what?

Anyhow, Grolier is one typeface I would dearly love to tackle, but complete enough specimens are VERY hard to come by. However, IF anyone else has seen the potential that I see in this typeface and has gotten to it before me—no fair—I would recommend it highly. The original also included some fancy caps, which made a good thing even better. If that is possible to do. Which it often is. But not always.

Té Rowan's picture

Worst case, there are Signet Roundhand and the Shelley Script series.

Demmy's picture

Thanks so far. I think readability is going to be a problem with any script though (Cezanne, for example, I have - lovely - but using it for more than a few lines is out of the question). Frode Frank’s solution is ingenious and new (to me) - I think I’ll try that (can’t find Grolier alas).

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