Online Encyclopedia

QUILL

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 751 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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QUILL, a term applied to the bare, hard, hollow tube of the feather of a bird, also to the large flight feathers or remiges, and especially to the strong feathers of the goose, swan, or crow used in the making of quill pens (see FEATHER and PEN). The word is of obscure origin; a word with similar meaning, Kiel, is found in German, and French has quille, ninepin, apparently connected with Ger. Kegel. Certain ancient stringed instruments were played with a plectrum or plucker made of the quill of a bird's feather, and the word has thus been used of a plectrum made of other material and differing in shape, and also of an analogous object for striking the strings in the harpsichord, spinet or virginal. The verb " to quill " is to fold lace, muslin or other light material into narrow flutes or pleats; when so pleated the material is called " quilling." The French term " quillon," apparently formed from quille, ninepin, is applied to the projecting arms or cross guards of the hilt of a sword. QUILLER-COUCH, SIR ARTHUR THOMAS (1863- ), English writer, known under the pseudonym of " Q " was born in Cornwall on the 21st of November 1863. He was educated at Newton Abbot College, at Clifton College, and Trinity College, Oxford. After taking his degree in 1886 he was for a short time classical lecturer at Trinity. While he was at Oxford be published (1887) his Dead Man's Rock (a romance in the vein of Stevenson's Treasure Island), and he followed this up with Troy Town (1888) and The Splendid Spur (1889). After some journalistic experience in London, mainly as a contributor to the Speaker, in 1891 he settled at Fowey in Cornwall. His later novels include The Blue Pavilions (1891), The Ship of Stars (1899), Hetty Wesley (1903), The Adventures of Harry Revel (1903), Fort Amity (1904), The Shining Ferry (1905), Sir John Constantine (1906). He published in 1896 a series of critical articles, Adventures in Criticism, and in 1898 he completed R. L. Stevenson's unfinished novel, St Ives. From his Oxford days he was known as a writer of excellent verse. With the exception of the parodies entitled Green Bays (1893), his poetical work is contained in Poems and Ballads (1896). In 1895 he published a delightful anthology from the 16th and 17th-century English lyrists, The Golden Pomp, followed in 1900 by an equally successful Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250—1900 (1900). In Cornwall he was an active worker in politics for the Liberal party. He was knighted in 1910.
End of Article: QUILL
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