Page:Theory and Practice of Handwriting.djvu/13

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PREFACE

The distinguished professor of Anatomy in the University of Vienna, Dr. Toldt, has declared that “The question of Instruction in Writing should occupy the first place, as the teaching of that subject is attended with so great danger to Spinal curvature, Breathing and digestive Disturbances, Myopia, or Shortsight.” And the no less distinguished oculist, Professor Dr. Hermann Cohn, has publicly stated that “Vertical writing is the writing of the future.”

Realising the force of these official statements the Author has the more confidence in submitting to the Profession and Public a manual the chief object of which is to afford information on all the vital and important questions that modern research in the Art and Science of Handwriting has brought to the front. Hitherto Caligraphy has been considered exclusively as an art (witness the works and specimens of plain and ornamental penmanship extant up to a most recent date) but the latest investigations (both Medical and Educational) exhibit it to us as a Science.

Writing is undoubtedly one of the principal and most essential subjects taught in our Schools, but there is no text-book on the question which professes to be a work of reference and certainly none that deals “in extenso” with the topics which for some years past have so deeply agitated Medical (and to a smaller extent Educational) circles both at home and abroad. A glance at the list in Chapter XIII. will show how popularly and superficially the subject of Handwriting has been generally approached and the necessity for a production which shall give side by side the several arguments which have been adduced in favour of and in opposition to the theories propounded. Such vital matters as the relation of writing to Hygiene; the substitution of Upright Pen-