Monday, June 20, 2005

Reading Journal Entry: Slaves of Obsession

It's the summer of 1861 and William and Hester Monk find themselves in the midst of the Battle of Bull Run when they travel to  America to bring back a 16-year-old girl who has run off with a Union gun buyer who is the prime suspect in the murder of the girl's father. This book had a good surprise ending. I had kind of suspected the guilty party, but not to the extent of his wickedness. I had thought he was driven to desperation by blackmailers, but not that he was the actual murderer.

Because this novel takes place partly in America during the Civil War, I decided to write the review in Spencerian Script which was a business style handwriting developed in the United States that was widespread in 19th century America. It is similar to Copperplate, but has simpler lowercase letters but very ornate capitals. It was the script used by Abraham Lincoln. By that time period, steel nibs had been invented, and by applying and releasing pressure the writer would alternately create thick and thin strokes.

Since my background color was quite dark, I wrote with white gouache. The inkwell and nib were cut from a wonderful piece of paper printed with all kinds of old-time writing tools. I found the photograph in a children's book about the Civil War, and it shows a number of injured men like the ones tended by Hester Monk. I put stickers on the 4 corners to resemble those often used in old photograph albums.

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