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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

16 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

Courtney



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

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

Maria

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

Chloe A.

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

Response by

Kyle



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

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