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  1. ~ During recent months it's been necessary to re-read a number of books, among them crime novels by Donna Leon set in Venice, Italy. While reading I was surprised to notice Montblanc fountain pens mentioned in four of her novels. • Death in a Strange Country (1993) in Chapter 8 when Vice-Questore Giuseppe Patta signs papers • Death and Judgment (1995) in Chapter 3 with Avvocato Trevisan makes calculations • Acqua Alta (1996) in Chapter 4 when Vice-Questore Patta is described as using his Montblanc Meisterstück • Wilful Behavior (2002) in Chapter 22 when Commissario Guido Brunetti's friend Marco Erizzo uses a Montblanc with purple ink Are Montblanc fountain pens frequently mentioned by contemporary fiction authors? If so, I wasn't aware of it until now. Had I read more widely perhaps this wouldn't have surprised me. Tom K.
  2. Anthony Horowitz, the author of the Alex Ryder series of young adult adventure novels, was at the a literary festival that I attended. One the questions was about how he writes his novels. He writes the first draft entirely with with fountain pens. He went on at length to talk about the importance of the nib as an instrument of creativity, and how fountain pen ink is the bloodstream that sustains the efforts of an author. Given that Alex Ryder lives in a world of modern electronic gadgets, I found this to be pleasantly surprising. Thought I'd pass this along...

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