What would your face and body have said about you in the 19th century?

Phrenology (the reading of the head for signs of character) and physiognomy (the assessment of a person's character or personality from their outer appearance) were two incredibly popular 'sciences' of the 19th century. Now discredited, they were used for a number of purposes – from selecting a wife, to reforming criminals.

Professional phrenologists would, for a fee, give customers head readings and character analyses based on the lumps and bumps on their heads, the size of their hands and even the shape of their nose.

One such phrenologist was George Burgess, who practised phrenology in Bristol from 1861–1901, publishing two books on the subject.

Together with historian Dr James Poskett of the University of Cambridge, we have compiled a phrenology and physiognomy quiz, based on the writings of George Burgess.

Find out what your head and body would have said about you in the 19th century...

You can read more about Victorian phrenology in our Christmas 2015 issue, on sale now!

 

 

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