Pen Books: The Chronicle Of The Fountain Pen

There wasn’t room to list the authors in the title above, but here they are: João Pavão Martins, Luis Leite and António Gagean.

This book, published in 2007, is still in print and is available from different sources. Prices vary a lot, so it’s worth shopping around. One passed through eBay recently and sold for £34.88 plus postage of £8.00. Andy’s Pens ( offers it at £79.00 plus postage, and Amazon lists it at £44.86 new or, bizarrely, £77.56 used.

I can’t praise this book highly enough. I’ve had mine for about two and a half years, and it’s severely tattered and in danger of falling apart, which is a good indication of how useful I have found it to be. It’s a large (and heavy!) book of 352 pages, profusely and beautifully illustrated, laid out in the chronicle format, a year by year account of the history of the fountain pen. No general pen book can ever be totally comprehensive but this one gets close. All the major companies are covered well, and you’ll find a great many pens that are less common. This makes the book an excellent research tool, and the profusion of excellent photographs is very useful for identification.

This is an entirely different type of fountain pen book from most of the others I have, several of which are, frankly, lightweight and exploitative. This one was written by people with serious intent, and it is a marvel of unstinting research and rigorous scholarship.

Putting a date on a particular pen is always difficult, and the authors state that, having studied the available dating information, they have, in many cases, made a best estimate. Generally, I find their dates credible.

The book is well indexed and there is a fascinating and informative bibliography.

To my mind, this book is essential for anyone who has a serious interest in fountain pens. Though comparatively expensive, it is worth every penny and will soon repay itself in the ease of research that it provides.


3 thoughts on “Pen Books: The Chronicle Of The Fountain Pen

  1. Hey Deb,
    I am sure you don’t remember me, but that is ok.
    I was noticing the pricing of the book on this morning’s blog.
    It seems that Amazon really rips the UK when it comes to books. I haven’t checked other things for comparison, but here is the reason for my Email. If you are ever interested in Pen books, or books of any kind, I would be willing to check Amazon in the US, for comparison prices. New or Used, depending upon what your requirements are. If I can get it cheaper for you, I would be willing to purchase at the lower price, and have it shipped to you.
    You probably have tons of connections in the US, but I just wanted to offer you my services, as I enjoy your blogs so much.
    Linda Goodwin
    Denver, Colorado

    1. Hi Linda,
      I was born and raised in Bucks County PA, and coming here to live a few years ago, I was struck by the difference in prices! Many reasons for that, I suppose, including the fact that Britain is a much smaller market than the USA.

      That’s a very kind offer you make, and I may very well take you up on it, when something comes along that I particularly want.


  2. Bucks County, PA. Who would have thought that?
    Our loss, UK’s gain.
    Regarding Amazon……Anytime, Anything!


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