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When Philip Hensher realized that he didn't know what one of his closest friend's handwriting looked like, he felt that something essential was missing from their friendship. It dawned on him that, having abandoned fountain pens for keyboards, we have lost one of the ways by which we come to recognize and know another person."The Missing Ink "tells the story of this endangered art. Hensher reflects on what handwriting can tell us about personality and personal history: are your own letters neat and controlled or messy and inconsistent? Did you shape your penmanship in worshipful imitation of a popular girl at school, or do you still use the cursive you were initiated into in the second grade? Hensher guides us through Arabic calligraphy and the story of the nineteenth-century handwriting evangelists who traveled across America to convert the masses to the moral worth of copperplate; he pays tribute to the warmth and personality of a handwritten note.With the teaching of handwriting now required in only five states, and many expert typists barely able to hold a pen, the future of handwriting is in jeopardy. Or is it?