To answer your questions: yes, and yes. It is more thorough than "Italic Handwriting", in that it provides a step-by-step approach, with more drills, more practical examples the entire book is handwritten , and goes from unjoined letters, to more typical italic, and swash capitals. However, I note that there are currently copies on Amazon. For my own part, after noting the rather serious deterioration of my handwriting some years ago - to the point where I could not even decipher my own notes - I decided to undertake a course of self-study in order to remedy this issue, and in passing, learn a little calligraphy if possible. In addition to being an accomplished calligrapher and italicist, Gourdie was something of a pedagogue and this shows through his books.
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He also was the author of several books, mainly on subject matter related to calligraphy. His father was a coal miner in Fife. In his teens Gourdie left school to work but returned and gained a scholarship to the Edinburgh College of Art , where he studied between and Visiting Nuremberg in kilt s, he and a friend were informed by some uniformed soldiers that their leader would like to meet the men in tartan s, and they met Adolf Hitler. Gourdie returned to the art college, where he received instruction in calligraphy from Irene Wellington.
He developed a deep interest in the history of writing and its various forms, alphabets and styles. He then returned to Fife as an art teacher at Kirkcaldy High School, where he remained till , after which he retired early from his school teaching career in order to give more attention to calligraphy and to the national and international promotion of the teaching of handwriting.
He remained active in his field until his death in Kirkcaldy at the age of 91, coaching his nurses and carers in how to hold a pen. He visited schools, instructing children and teachers "to write in a simple, practical, calligraphic style".
At the time he died children in Fife were being taught a script that he had based on a design, but he expressed disappointment that it had not been adopted throughout Scotland. His subject matter was mainly the Fife environs, in particular the coalfields, many of them since shut down.
His intricate representation of the atmosphere of the region at that attracted the attention of the National Coal Board , and they bought all that were available.
Advocacy and writing Building on his growing reputation as a calligrapher, Gourdie argued that technological advances did not eliminate the need for handwriting. He wrote prolifically and introduced the italic script widely to European schools. Kay Dick of Glasgow collaborated with him on many projects.
Other books followed and established him as a leading authority. The Society of Handwriters made him a life member - the scroll being presented by their president, Humphrey Lyttelton. For his services to calligraphy he was made an MBE in He was aged 46 at the time, which was unusually young for the honour.
He loved music, collected recordings and played the trombone and the French horn. Gourdie survived his wife, Lilias, and was survived in turn by their son and daughter.
He also was the author of several books, mainly on subject matter related to calligraphy. His father was a coal miner in Fife. In his teens Gourdie left school to work but returned and gained a scholarship to the Edinburgh College of Art , where he studied between and Visiting Nuremberg in kilt s, he and a friend were informed by some uniformed soldiers that their leader would like to meet the men in tartan s, and they met Adolf Hitler.
Tom Gourdie Explained
Handwriting For Today
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