Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Prefer Fountain Pens? So Does Inspector Morse.

Pathologist Doctor Grayling Russell: (brightly) “I prefer pens.”

Inspector Morse: (warmly) “So do I . . . one with a nib that you fill from a bottle.”

(From “The Last Enemy”, Episode #9 in the Inspector Morse BBC mystery series, with Amanda Hillwood as Dr. Russell and the late John Thaw as Inspector Morse.)

What kind of fountain pen does Inspector Morse use? A silver Parker, according to graphologist Nigel Bradley, who’s studied Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse books. (Morse's handwriting is described by Dexter as "small, neat, and scholarly" which begs the question: what size nib did he use? Surely not a broad?)

The series is available on DVD. A few solo middle-agers with obsessive intellectual passions may recognize themselves in the occasional scenes of Morse slumped on a sofa, pouring another drink from a half-empty bottle of Scotch as he works out his theory of the murder.

Jack/Youngstown

7 comments:

  1. He also drives a simply gorgeous vintage Jaguar too. A man who appreciates the best of the past. John Thaw did a terrific job and the series is wonderful to watch.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Inspector Morse is one of my favorites of the modern detective adaptations. It's very well done.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, bleubug and dizzypen. Rural England, Oxford from the inside, Morse's Jag and melancholia teamed with Det. Sgt. Lewis---they all work for me. Those mordant glimpses of Oxford's colleges and dons? Priceless. Ask anyone who works at a university!

    Thanks for the parenthetical note, PB.

    Jack/Youngstown

    ReplyDelete
  4. Of course, Dexter didn't write 'The Last Enemy' - it is a screenplay adaptation by Peter Buckman of Dexter's 'The Riddle of the Third Mile', and the latter doesn't contain the scene mentioned above. I would be very interested to know precisely where 'fountain' pen is mentioned in Dexter. At the end of chapter seven in 'The Way Thorugh the Woods' Morse is noted as 'taking from his pocket his silver Parker pen', but unfortunately this could quite easily be a ballpoint - particularly as he is about to fill in a newspaper crossword.

    ReplyDelete