Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
Excellent book for learning
on June 9, 2003
I am learning calligraphy and have looked at a number of books on the subject. This book is, for most purposes, excellent. She gives you so much more than alphabets: key exercises to do before you start the alphabets, typical beginner's problems (most of which I have experienced!), practice pages you can reproduce. Her sections on swashes and "accessorizing" Gothic capitals are also wonderful - what had always seemed highly mysterious to me turns out to be a matter of combining building blocks, creativity, and - who would have thought - a lot of fun.
The only small drawback, if it is one, is that the book doesn't contain a lot that is good to know about techniques of setting up a drawing table, selling, etc. For that (as well as an excellent chapter on type design by Hermann Zapf himself), the book "Calligraphy and Illumination" provides more than you ever wanted to know. I don't think that book replaces this one, however - I find Margaret's explanations well worth the small amount this book costs. She'll even autograph it for you (see her web site for details).
This is a wonderful book that every calligraphy student should have.