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Sharing Shakespeare's Story

Quill fragment

Our word ‘pen’ comes from the Latin word ‘penna’ which means feather. In Elizabethan times pens were made from the central hollow rib, or quill, of a wing feather. The flight feathers of a large bird like a goose or swan made very good quills but feathers from ducks, pheasants, ravens, crows and even peacocks and turkeys could also be used. The natural curve of a quill from a bird’s left wing fitted comfortably into a scribe’s right hand, and vice versa. Fresh quills were allowed to dry and harden for six months before they were ready to be made into pens. The tool used to cut the quill was called a penknife and it had a small, sharp blade

36 responses
Response by

Aland



This is my favourite item because I like writing and it is fluffy

Response by

Aminah

This is my favourite item because William wrote over a million words with one.

Response by

Maariya



The quill is my favourite item because we had fun writing with one.

Response by

Laiba



I liked the quill because it is soft and feathery and we also got to write with the quill. 

Response by

Courtney



I liked this item because we had a chance to write with one.

Response by

Lorenzo



Writing with a quill is very interesting and feels strange.

Response by

Joseph

The quill is a fun thing to write with and looks cool.

Response by

Marwa



The quill makes very neat handwriting and also it is made from feathers from a goose or swan

Response by

Samuel



You can see what Shakespeare used to write with. It looks so old fashioned to us.

Response by

Zaid



I liked the quill because it was very unique and different. 

Response by

Maria

Response by

Younis



I like the quill because it is posh and soft and smooth to write with. 

Response by

Sophie



The quill is my favourite because it is soft and messy.

Response by

Danielle

A quill is an extraordinary pen and it's unique. It gives a shivery feeling knowing that's what people used to write with.

Response by

Erin



A quill was used for writing becasue there was no pencils and pens there.

Response by

Peyton

Response by

Aqilah



It is my favourite because I really wanted to see a real quill and to write with it. 

Response by

Becky



The quill is my favourite collections item because I think it is really fascinating how the ink gets inside the feather and can form a pen.

Response by

Mohammed Y.



The quill was my favourite because I liked using one to write with and it looks cool for some weird reason.

Response by

Beth S.



The quill was my favourite because it was fascinating to find out how to use them and also interesting to find out some of the history of quills.

Response by

Monica



The quill was my favourite item because the Tudors made use of a fether so they could write.

Response by

Denni



The quill was my favourite item because it was really fun to know what they would have used in Shakespeare's time and what the difference was.

Response by

Khidr



It is my favourite because it is similar to a pen but also quite different. 

Response by

Matthew

The quill was my favourite item becauseI wondered how people used them - because when I tried I found it complicated.

Response by

Oumie



In their times they did not have pens or pencils but they came up with a good idea to use feathers. 

Response by

Milly



The quill was my favourite item because it's fascinating how they were made. Thay used a feather from a goose or a swan.

Response by

Chloe A.

It was really interesting to see quill pens and to try and use quill.

Response by

Scarlett

Response by

Kyle



I picked these because we had a go at writing with a quill dipped in ink.

Response by

Linda

Response by

Safa Mughal



I like the quill because it is very soft to write with and it is unique. 

Response by

Mohammed Isa

Response by

Amber, T-shanti, and Maxwell

The feathers that the quills were made of came from swans and, rarely, geese. To write you have to keep dipping it in the ink. You can sharpen it with a penknife.

Response by

Sophie



My favourite is the quill because that's what the used to have instead of a pencil of a pen. What they used to do was dip it in some ink so they could write. They never used to have paper they used goats of sheep skin. They never used to do the letters we would do they would do different. They could of sharpened it with something but then it wasn't called a sharpener.

Response by

Benjamin



I like how they used feathers beacuse they were very creative. I also liked seeing what it was like to write with a quill.

Response by

Faith



It was really interesting to see coins  and quills from the time of Shakespeare and to find out how important rings were back in those days.

See also