Physiognomy & French – Jane Eyre: Part 1
|Advert from an 1894 Phrenological Journal
Photo Courtesy: LibraryatNight
I’ve noticed that writers today seem to describe the appearance of their characters, but don’t analyze, to the same extent, how that appearance promotes certain aspects of their personality. But in the 19thcentury, it seems to have been quite a common practice.
Does it Work?
I have to wonder how accurate such a view is.
Does the width of the space between the nose and hairline actually determine the size of the brain? And indeed, does the size of the brain actually have an impact on its capability? Some studies have linked the two; others have led to conclusions that brain organization not size, determines intelligence. Can brain organization be seen in outward appearance?
And yet…despite all of this knowledge gained from Googling, I’m still wondering about the use of physiognomy. Can observing people’s features a little bit more closely help us understand them better?
Perhaps Charlotte Brontë, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and many more, were on to something…