THE BEST 20 GRAPHOLOGY BOOKS
Author Title
Crépieux-Jamin L'Écriture et le Caractère
Klages Handschrift und Charakter
Saudek The Psychology of Handwriting
Saudek Experiments with Handwriting
Crépieux-Jamin ABC de la Graphologie
Pulver Symbolik der Handschrift
Klages Graphologie
Teillard L'Ame et L'Écriture
Pophal Die Handschrift als Gehirnschrift
Beauchataud Apprenez la Graphologie
Mueller/Enskat Graphologische Diagnostik
Vels Escritura y personalidad
Gille-Maisani Psychologie de L'écriture
Hughes What Your Handwriting Reveals
Cobbaert La Graphologie
Torbidoni/Zanin Grafologia
Roman Encyclopedia of the Written Word
Sonnemann Handwriting Analysis
Bernard The Art of Graphology
Nezos Graphology
Peugeot et al Manuel de Graphologie
Desurvire Various books

This list is mainly based on the article below.


GRAPHOLOGY BOOKS :
Indications for Coordinated Research and Teaching

Copyright 1998-2004 by Frits Cohen and Nigel Bradley


Introduction

In recent years there has been much international co-operation between graphologists. This has been evidenced by international conferences, translated books and articles, terminology lexicons in numerous languages, agreed international codes of conduct, and the formation of international special interest groups. This article offers another perspective on the international nature of graphology. It summarises the results of an enquiry which took place in 1997 and 1998. The aim was to identify which graphology books have been recommended and adopted by key organisations in Europe, representing practice accepted as proper by an experienced body of practitioners trained and skilled in the relevant field.


Methodology

Reading lists were obtained from organisations in various ways, principally in response to a letter of request, but also less formally through representatives, associates, students or publications. The organisations in the enquiry were in Great Britain, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland 1. This study does not represent all European countries. Additionally, certain individuals were contacted to clarify the content of the numerous texts involved and published bibliographies were consulted to confirm details.

We have restricted the study to cover only general graphology books, dealing with the interpretation of handwriting. Most tutors also recommend texts on psychology, sociology, criminology and other areas. Such subjects were excluded for the analysis, furthermore, specialist graphological texts have been disregarded, as explained below.


Data Analysis

Our intention was to create a summary listing, showing similarities and differences between the different countries. Having obtained letters and lists, it was clear that this approach was wholly inappropriate and would prioritise books unrealistically. The number of books on each reading list varied from five titles to several hundred. The varied terms 'essential reading', 'desirable reading', 'suggested reading', 'recommended reading' etc. conceal many different definitions. Indeed, we discovered that some organisations have a policy of providing their own materials and do not advocate outside reading.

At this first stage, we deduced that there are varied reasons for recommending specific titles to students. A book, generally speaking, will only appear if the people developing reading lists are familiar with it. Many valuable works are not available, either because no translation exists, or publishers are unhappy to carry such titles in particular countries, so 'personal exposure' is one reason why a book may be listed.

Other reasons include availability to both students and teachers; similarly how easy books are to use, whether for learning or teaching. Another determinant is the nature of the tuition: some graphology courses are short (weekends), others are longer (three years). Tuition may be by distance learning, or in classrooms. These approaches demand different teaching strategies and different types of textbooks.

For all of these reasons, we believe that the lists were not comparable and it would therefore be wholly inappropriate to relate specific titles to specific organisations or indeed to indicate the numbers of texts chosen by specific course organisers. We have chosen to amalgamate all titles and to eliminate duplication. In order to reduce the lists to a manageable length, we have ignored books which address specific issues such as children, 'Questioned Document' work, health, typologies, etc. Instead we focus on texts of a general graphological nature.

The books have been divided by language; this was particularly useful since associations do not only recommend works written in their operating language. So for example French titles appear on British lists, English titles on Swiss lists, German titles on Dutch lists, and so forth.

The analysis has been ordered chronologically from the first edition date. For purposes of brevity, publishers' names, the number of pages and country of origin have been excluded. Miller (1982) and Gille-Maisani (1992) 2 3 are two sources which provide full descriptions for almost all mentioned titles, which we have necessarily been unable to do in this short article.


Results

Our synoptic analysis is reproduced below. The analysis shows 22 titles which are available in more than two languages, 25 titles in German only, 14 titles in English only, 8 titles available in French only, and a further 9 titles available in Italian, Spanish and Dutch. This is a total of 78 titles.

Table 1: Titles known to be available in two or more languages

Original
Year
Author Title Languages Available¶
1887 Crépieux-Jamin * L'Écriture et le Caractère F, G, Sp, E, I, O
1917 Klages * Handschrift und Charakter G, F, Sp, I
1925 Saudek * The Psychology of Handwriting E, G, I, F
1928 Saudek * Experiments with Handwriting E, G
1929 Crépieux-Jamin * ABC de la Graphologie F, O
1931 Pulver * Symbolik der Handschrift G, F, E, I, Sp, O
1932 Klages Graphologie G, F
1948 Teillard * L'Ame et L'Écriture F, G, E, I, Sp
1949 Pophal * Die Handschrift als Gehirnschrift G, E, I
1959 Beauchataud s Apprenez la Graphologie F, E
1961 Mueller/Enskat * Graphologische Diagnostik G, I
1961 Vels * Escritura y personalidad Sp, F
1969 Gille-Maisani Psychologie de L'écriture F, E, Sp, I
1970 Hughes What Your Handwriting Reveals E, Sp
1973 Cobbaert s La Graphologie F, G
1974 Torbidoni/Zanin s Grafologia I, F, Sp
1983 Hargreaves/Wilson A Dictionary of Graphology E, G
1985 Bernard s The Art of Graphology E, G
1986 Gullan-Whur The Graphology Workbook E, Sp
1986 Nezos s Graphology E, I, O
1986 Peugeot et al * Manuel de Graphologie F, E, I
1989 Branston Graphology Explained E, Sp, O
1997 Desurvire   Various F, IT
E=EnglishF=FrenchG=GermanI=ItalianSp=SpanishO=Other
The original language is used first.

Table 2: Titles available in German only

Original
Year
Author Title
1933 Wollnick * Grundfragen der Graphologie
1939 Pophal * Grundlegung der bewegungsphysiologischen Graphologie
1943 Heiss * Die Deutung der Handschrift
1950 Knobloch * Die Lebensgestalt der Handschrift
1950 Pophal * Das Strichbild
1956 Wieser * Persönlichkeit und Handschrift
1958 Miller Einführung in die Graphologie
1961 Pfanne * Lehrbuch der Graphologie
1963 Pokorny Die Moderne Handschriftendeutung
1966 Pophal s Graphologie in Vorlesungen
1968 Pokorny s Psychologie der Handschrift
1969 Wieser s Grundrisz der Graphologie
1971 Knobloch * Graphologie
1973 Wagner * Graphologische Forschungen
1973 Wieser s Rhythmus und Polarität in der Handschrift
1978 Doubrawa Handschrift und Persönlichkeit
1978 Wieser s Handschrift, Rhythmus, Persönlichkeit
1984 Müller Schriftpsychologie
1985 Wirz * Grundlegung einer kausalen Graphologie
1989 Avé-Lallemant Die vier deutschen Schulen der Graphologie
Klages, Pophal, Heiss, Pulver
1991 Känzig Graphologie
1993 Lüke Das Handbuch der graphologischen Praxis
1994 Dosch Graphologie des Strichs
1994 Lüke Du bist, wie du schreibst
1994 Seibt Schriftpsychologie

Table 3: Titles available in English only
Original
Year
Author Title
1936 Olyanova Handwriting Tells
1939 Jacoby Analysis of Handwriting
1947 Mendel Personality in Handwriting
1953 Sonnemann s Handwriting Analysis
1954 Roman * Handwriting, A Key to Personality
1962 Olyanova The Psychology of Handwriting
1966 Hearns s Handwriting, An Analysis Through Its Symbolism
1968 Roman * Encyclopedia of the Written Word
1969 Singer A Manual of Graphology
1980 Amend/Ruiz Handwriting Analysis
1985 Simpson Analysis of Handwriting
1989 Mahony Handwriting and Personality
1993 Nezos Advanced Graphology
1995 Branston Elements of Graphology

Table 4: Titles available in French only

Original
Year
Author Title
1938 Hegar * Graphologie par le trait
1954 Gobineau/Perron * Génétique de L'écriture
1969 Olivaux L'Analyse Graphologique
1982 Tajan La graphomotricité
1983 Faideau (ed) s La Graphologie
1984 Bresard La Graphologie
1985 Faideau (ed) s Dictionaire Pratique de Graphologie
1986 Lefebure/vd Broek * Le trait en Graphologie

Table 5: Titles only available in other languages

Original
Year
Author Title Language
1914 Moretti * Trattato di Grafologia Italian
1948 Schrijver Leerboek der Grafologie Dutch
1953 Slikboer Graphodiagnostiek Dutch
1974 Xandro s Grafología Superior Spanish
1975 Galeazzi et al s Guida alla grafologia Italian
1976 Palaferri Dizionario grafologico Italian
1977 Galeazzi et al s La scienza grafologica oggi Italian
1987 Halbertsma/Klementschitsch Het Graphologie Compendium Dutch
1989 Cristofanelli Grafologia Italian

Discussion

To our knowledge, this is the first time that the reading lists for over ten European organisations have been obtained and combined. This listing represents years of graphological experience, expertise and exposure to such texts. It is a valuable snapshot of the current status of graphology in Europe.

In our search to find an equivalent study, we made a special analysis of the Gille-Maisani (1992) bibliography. The author, a polyglot, had examined and studied most of the texts he listed and was able to evaluate them. He distinguished between books which were 'original' and those which had 'didactic' value. He explained the former as "works in which the author has introduced innovative methods, elucidated original ideas or arrived at important new conclusions". The latter he defined as "works that when they first appeared presented a reliable account of a didactic summary of the current state of graphology, whether it concerned the science as a whole, or a particular section of it, or the work of an individual school of thought".

Table 6 shows the numbers of books in our European survey compared with his listing of these two categories. From the analysis we are satisfied that our methodology adequately identified the major texts currently recommended in Europe. Approximately one hundred books describe the basic principles of graphology.

Table 6: Survey Comparisons

Language used Gille Survey European Survey
Table 1: Multiple Languages 20 22
Table 2: German 44 25
Table 3: English 15 14
Table 4: French 37 8
Table 5: Other Languages 13 9
Total Books 129 78

Conclusion

Our purpose was to identify which graphology books have been recommended and adopted by key organisations in Europe. This has been achieved, and in itself is a valuable record. Furthermore, the listing is a powerful tool for researchers, teachers and students in the field.

From a research viewpoint, these named titles offer the core knowledge of graphology. Validation studies, which are heavily demanded by critics of the subject, can usefully be conducted on the content of these tomes. These instruction manuals are the ones which constitute the 'state of the subject'. Research which focuses on the claims made is likely to provide the subject with fruitful and practical results.

We are disappointed that we have been unable to create a shorter list, since that would allow a greater concentration of research effort. We cannot claim to have seen or read all of these titles and it would be presumptuous of us to attempt further selections, however we have provided clues in Tables 1 - 5 that may allow further selections to be produced.

A first clue comes in Table 1 which shows titles available in several languages, indeed many titles are available in three or more languages. We propose that these 22 works are high-level works and deserve to be regarded as such. (We do, however, concede that publisher policies may affect this proposition - in all fields there are examples of weak authors being marketed well and good authors not being marketed at all).

A second clue that we have provided is the use of two symbols, an asterisk (*) and a letter (s). These are the distinction made by Gille-Maisani (1992) of books which are original (*) and those which provide a useful didactic summary (s). The full listing shows 27 original works and 17 didactic works under these definitions.

A third clue is the date at which books were first published. There are texts first published as early as 1887, 1914, 1917, but they are still on the current recommended reading lists. This is an indication that they have been reprinted and republished, an implication that they are seminal works. More recent books may be listed since students will find them easy to obtain, or because they are a valuable re-working of seminal texts.

From an educational viewpoint all books signify 'best practice' in Europe. For teachers they indicate the titles which are being used successfully by other organisations. The tutor has a checklist of books, the content of which should be appreciated. The style of certain books may offer a better resource.

For students, the texts give a point of reference for building a graphological library. Clearly language may be a barrier to having access to some of the books, and it should be noted that many books are not easy to obtain. Hopefully, the existence of this article itself may prompt new translations and new editions of such titles.

In conclusion, we hope that our article will make a valuable contribution and will help to unite graphological associations, teachers, practitioners and researchers worldwide. The subject's status can only benefit from such a united stance.


Notes

1. Our thanks go to these organisations:
Great Britain: The Graphology Society, The British Institute of Graphologists, The British Academy of Graphology, The Direct Analysis Society, The International Graphology Association.
Italy: Associazione Grafologica Italiana, Istituto Grafologico Moretti.
France: La Société Française de Graphologie
Germany: Berufsverband geprüfter Graphologen/Psychologen e.v.
Netherlands: Nederlandse Vereniging voor Grafologie en Schriftexpertise.
Switzerland: The European Society of Handwriting Psychology, which in turn represents member organisations from Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.
2. Miller, J.H., Bibliography of Handwriting Analysis. A Graphological Index (Whitson Pub, New York, 1982)
3. Gille-Maisani, J-C, The Psychology of Handwriting, (Scriptor Books, London 1992)
4. Key used in Tables 1-5: * denotes original works, s denotes books of didactic value. These are Gille-Maisani's evaluations
5. Second draft prepared July 1998. Copyright 1998 by N.R. Bradley and F.Cohen  Published as (1999) Graphology Books : Indications for Co-ordinated Research and Teaching Graphologist, Spring 17(1), 6-11 ISSN 0951 6336
6. Keywords: graphology, script psychology, the interpretation of handwriting

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