Tag Archives: Penmanship

Book: Between The Lines: Understanding Yourself and Others Through Handwriting Analysis

90% is backed up by common sense; 10% relies on crystal balls

Fills the gap between science and the supernatural. Conversation material; not pure science.
227 pages, ★★★★

Handwriting samples collected over a long period of time can hint at character of the author. That’s the theory behind graphology. This book takes us logically through literally hundreds of handwriting features (from wide letters to thread formations to repressed lower loops) and gives us illustrated examples of each (most of them from famous people). Between the Lines was my first introduction to graphology.

The start of Between the Lines can be explained by common sense. Fast writers are impatient. People who write in perfectly straight lines are well-organised. People who write in capital letters are aggressive. But later in the book, when the handwriting features become more technical, the connection of these explanations to reality becomes more tenuous (or, at least, unexplained).

Toward the end of the book, Between the Lines ventures slightly into horoscope territory. It tells us that people who write numbers illegibly are untrustworthy with money; that people who omit letters are not telling the whole truth; that people with blotchy writing are sensual (Casanova is the given example). This book lacks data evidence throughout (only one or two anecdotes are provided), and only the first half of the book resonates with common sense.

The most insightful area was the chapter on signatures. Do you sign your name larger or smaller than the rest of your writing? Do you sign toward the left or the right of the paper? Does your signature conceal or emphasize any part of your name, or contain additional features? The signature—and the letter t—are two of the most revealing features in graphology.

For me, graphology is to psychology as horoscopes are to astrophysics.

Yes, I’m now analysing people’s handwriting (privately) out and about where I see it. But no, I’m not using it to judge them. For me, daily-life graphology will remain nothing more than harmless fun. For me, graphology is to psychology as horoscopes are to astrophysics.

I shopped around to find the most concise, comprehensive introduction to the handwriting analysis before settling on this book. If you don’t like Between the Lines, then blame the field of graphology, not the book. ★★★★