It’s been Blue Week here at Fountain Pen Follies for more than two weeks. Which surely has created a gap in the space-time continuum, because it seems that even the world’s biggest blue ink fan has grown weary of blue ink.
So I cleaned out three pens filled with blue ink, and searched for an ink that was appealing and not-blue. It took a while, but eventually I found a tiny amount of De Atramentis Jane Austen, left over from the Chicago Pen Show. And Jane Austen is one of my favorite writers.
I was very happy to put De Atramentis Jane Austen into a Pelikan 400 with OBB nib. It turns out to be a lighter forest green, with shading. Not perhaps my favorite color, though the shading is nice. And not the color that I would have chosen for Austen, who was acutely attuned to the comical and the absurd, whereas this ink seems very serious.
But maybe it has a Regency flavor. And it’s a nice color.
It’s an ink that seems to be on the dry side. That vintage Pelikan is a firehose, and the ink doesn’t look very dark, does it? So that could be nice for wetter pens.
Here’s a look at the ink from a different angle, because I think you can sometimes get a better feel for the color when you don’t think about what’s written. Also, shallow depth of field always makes a person feel artsy. Even if the reason for it was just dusk.
Jane Austen, incredibly, was born in 1775. Here’s what Anthony Trollope, another English novelist, said of her in 1870:
Miss Austen was surely a great novelist. What she did, she did perfectly…. She wrote of the times in which she lived, of the class of people with which she associated, and in the language which was usual to her as an educated lady. Of romance—what we generally mean when we speak of romance—she had no tinge: heroes and heroines with wonderful adventures there are none in her novels. Of great criminals and hidden crimes she tells us nothing.
But she places us in a circle of gentlemen and ladies, and charms us while she tells us with an unconscious accuracy how men should act to women, and women act to men. It is not that her people are all good; and, certainly, they are not all wise. The faults of some are the anvils on which the virtues of others are hammered till they are bright as steel. In the comedy of folly, I know no novelist who has beaten her. The letters of Mr. Collins, a clergyman in Pride and Prejudice, would move laughter in a low-church archbishop.