"Italic" hand originated in the 15th-16th century in
Italy. The Renaissance and printing press created a literacy boom
which made a big demand for men who could copy writing for business
and legal documents. These people looked to the writing which
preceded them which was pleasing to their eye. This writing was
the Caroline hand with its beautiful round curves and clean look.
But the need at hand was speed and legibility.
speaking, whenever writing becomes faster, the round curves become
sharper and more elliptical and it slopes to the write. So by
nature this hand took on these qualities. When the Papel chanceries
adoped this style for the copying of briefs about the middle of
the 15th century, it was called chancery cursive or "cancellaresca
were many prominent penmen and teachers who wrote books to teach
their particular version. Some inclde rude and disparaging comments
on the other books and authors of the day.
Francesco Cresci (1570) wrote of another "If I possessed
the defect and the ugly appearance which they display in their
writing: for, on account of the poor constitution of their fingers,
they hold the pen in such a distorted fashion that, when they
write, they reveal to anyone watching them letters that are ragged,
uneven, and shaky, and lines so twisted that their pupils cannot
possibly derive any profit from them. If they had any sense at
all, it would be their duty not only to run away and hide themeselves
because of these faults and never let themselves be seen in the
act of writing, but also to stop boasting that they have taught
to others an art, which, in point of truth, they have never been
able to master properly by reason of these defects."
1898, Monica, wife of the poet Robert Bridges, published A New
Handwriting for Teachers, which was influenced by the chancery
hand and Edward Johnston included a few examples in his book Writing
& Illuminating, & Lettering (1906).
1922, Alfred Fairbans saw some of these copybooks at the Victoria
and Albert Museum and began modernizing the letters and created
handwriting exemplars to teach what he called "italic".
In 1932, his Handwriting Manual was published and contributed
to the education of must of the western world on this subject.