Monday 23 November 2009


Jan Struther wrote for the Spectator, the New Statesman and Punch.

A selection of these pieces was published in 1938 as 
Try Anything Twice.
Her efforts were, 'the work of afternoons on a sofa, 
where she would write on lined vellum 
with a fine gold-embossed pen
according to the Virago edition introduction by Valerie Grove.
She was heard to say that, 
'Genius may write on the backs of old envelopes, 
but mere talent requires the very best stationery money can buy.'

A visit to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden
has yielded a clue to the make of pen she might have favoured
and I think it would be helpful if I could acquire one
because my patience with Blogger is running very thin.

So I have made some enquiries and luckily the company 
is still going strong.
I am pretty sure that the 1937 Onoto  Magna is the one.
£9,995 will buy me an 18ct gold guilloche engraved in Hera weave 
with the exclusive Onoto cipher on the clip weighing 
a hefty 80 grams.
I draw the line at vellum,
Sainsbury's do a very useful A4 block of squared paper.

I'm not made of money.


  1. You could always try using a Moleskine notebook for the Chatwin effect.

    Pomona x

  2. An exquisite Onoto fountain pen and exotic vellum paper provide quite a juxtaposition with the blogging format. And, yet, the artistry of this post is impossible with the former.