Wood block illustration from 1500 by Andreas Corvus

Chiromancy, palmistry, hand-reading, hand analysis, chirology.  For centuries the features of the hands have fascinated scholars, sages, theologians, doctors and laymen alike. 

The Astrological Hand by Jean Belot, 1640
Indian Palmist's Manuscript, C18th

Discover the secrets of the hand as we take you through the years. 

The History of Handreading website will tell you the story of the study of the human hand.

Authored by Christopher Jones MA (Oxon)
Reproduced at johnnyfincham.com with permission


Find out the facts about the Myths of Palmistry...

Aristotle and Julius Caesar were expert handreaders
The Church condemned Chiromancy
Palmists were persecuted as 'Witches'
The Bible sanctions Handreading
Handreading originated with the Gipsies
The meaning of 'Cross My Palm with Silver'
The treatise on a Golden Altar dedicated to Hermes
Albertus Magnus and Paracelsus were famous palmists
The ancient sources of palmistry are reliable
The 'Great Triangle' and the 'Quadrangle' are important
There is a scientific basis to handreading
Fingerprints are unimportant
There are Seven Handshape Types
William Benham wrote a scientific book on handreading
Compte de St Germain really knew his stuff
The oldest text on handreading is thousands of years old


All written material remains the copyright of the author. 
Permission is given for the personal use of materials presented herein
for the purposes of private study only. NOT to be used on other websites!
Links to this site may be added by permission.

 I acknowledge a considerable indebtedness to the four men who have gone before me in this endeavour,
Edward Heron-Allen, Gino Sabbattini, Fred Gettings and Andrew Fitzherbert. I owe a particular debt of
thanks to Fred Gettings whose work 'The Book of the Hand' of 1965 was the inspiration for my own researches
into this subject. Most of all I must thank my good friend and constant challenger on matters historical over
many, many years of correspondence, Andrew Fitzherbert. It is to him that this work is dedicated.

And to all the frauds, imposters and would-be wizards, I thank you also. For it is always true that

one can never find the jewel without having previously sifted through all the dross.





The History of Handreading