I recently read that poet T.S. Eliot’s fountain pen replaced Charles Dickens quill and the Royal Society of Literature.
The Society’s mission statement reads “The Royal Society of Literature, founded by George IV in 1820, celebrates and nurtures all that is best in British literature, past and present. We organise roughly twenty-four events a year; make awards and grants to established and emerging writers; run regular Masterclasses with the Booker Prize Foundation; and campaign on issues affecting writers, such as the closure of local libraries or reductions in PLR payments.
At the heart of the RSL is its Fellowship, which encompasses the most distinguished authors working in the English language. One of our aims is to build bridges between our Fellows and those who enjoy their work, so that their unique talents are shared as widely as possible.”
Impressive, ain’t it?
I’ve been thinking about Eliot’s pen and Dickens’ quill, even Shakespeare’s quill and quite honestly, I’m really not that impressed. Of course, It would be something to wield the quill that penned Hamlet or A Tale of Two Cities or the pen that gave birth to The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, any awe I would feel would quickly vanish for there is only one pen I need to hold – my pen.
My pen holds my stories and I need my stories far more that I need the stories of other men (or women), great as those stories may be. Besides, if my pen is ever to be in a museum somewhere, I better keep writing.
Writers, know what I mean?
- TS Eliot’s fountain pen gets first outing at Royal Society of Literature (guardian.co.uk)
- Eliot’s Pen, Fabio’s Mane, and Other News (theparisreview.org)
- “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (littlegrowingpains.wordpress.com)