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This is a good book if all you want are examples of elegant script, but it is not a book to actually teach how-to do elegant script. Therefore, I was somewhat disappointed in the book, but will use it for inspiration.
The Universal Penman is a wonderful book to pour over when you want to see a variety of flourishes and Copperplate script. If you do any calligraphy, then this book is a great addition to your reference library. You can dissect the examples and see how to incorporate them into your own work. Or you can just admire the sheer beauty of the handwritten word.
As Philip Hofer writes in the forward, "Altogether, there are many reasons why every intelligent person should take a renewed interest in good handwriting." Even if you're not a calligrapher, you should buy this book simply because it is BEAUTIFUL. The work done by George Bickham inside is stunning--both the artwork and calligraphy. Seriously, if you have any interest whatsoever in lettering, you will love this book.
Perfect book for consulting, to see how they justify margins, fluorishing openings and endings, etc. This book is perfect and lovely to read and to learn. Many examples from Joseph Champion, Bickham himself and many others. This art has no time. How beautiful fluorishing and drawing letters.