Are you oversensitive or easily distracted? Creative with a strong imagination? The UK’s leading handwriting expert, Emma Bache, reads between the lines at the Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival.

In a nutshell, is handwriting a dying art form?

Handwriting as a form of communication is certainly on the decline because of the nature of social media and our need for more immediate and less intimate communications such as Email, texting, Instagram etc.

I do not see handwriting as an art form but as a form of communication that entails fine motor co-ordination and from a cerebral perspective involves thought and time.  The art of communication is being lost as we become more and more involved in our image to the outside world and less and less with joining forces with others in any real sense of community.

If handwriting is revelatory as you say – many people might think (politicians, sociopaths, crooks!) it’s best to stick to a word processor – can handwriting really reveal deep rooted characteristics?

Yes handwriting reveals a plethora of revealing traits and the motor co-ordination that drives our hand across the page is influenced by our brain and is subject to every nuance of our personalities whether they be fixed traits or transitory emotions.  Therefore handwriting reveals deep rooted characteristics but also more fleeting moods and emotions.

What are the three main benefits to sending a handwritten letter over a typed email and CV to a potential employer?

The three main benefits to sending a handwritten letter of application as opposed to a typed email are as follows and this is from the employer’s point of view:

The handwriting will reveal for the employer the personality of the potential employee as opposed to their employment history or indeed the ability to be interviewed successfully.  In other words no acting skills can hide the personality.

The employer can receive the results of my analysis speedily without the use of data processing.

The graphologist will be able to ascertain the potential working relationships between the existing employees and the prospective candidate.

The days of postcards, love letters and thank you notes almost seem nostalgic – the thrill of a letter landing in the post! Do we need to revalue our letter writing, to help us revalue our relationships? Rather than throwaway, delete-able emails etc.?

Yes I believe that receiving handwritten letters and postcards are increasingly welcome in the age of impersonal technology.  We are hardly likely to keep emails and texts and be looking back at them as important historical documentation of relationships.  Handwritten letters take time and effort to write and send and infer an intimacy and respect that can never be obtained from modern day forms of communication. When we handwrite a letter – we choose the paper, the pen and we choose our sentiments with equal care.  We are unlikely to send a letter to the wrong person however sending an email or text to the wrong person is an occupational hazard.

I do believe that Royal Mail could and should work with me to bring back the joy of both writing and receiving handwritten letters.  There are many ways that modern life is causing isolation and loneliness to both the elderly as well as the young.

What is the most incredible thing you’ve uncovered about a person through their handwriting?

I have uncovered all sorts of incredible things in handwriting and most of them are strictly private and personal.  In the public domain however I discovered that Charles Dickens was extremely anxious on his wedding day from a letter that he wrote to an acquaintance and bringing us up to the modern day- that Donald Trump is far from careless with his thoughts and actions – he does little without pre meditation.

Have you reviewed the handwriting of any famous faces – and if so, have you unexpected insights into a famous celebrity or politician you can share?

I have analysed many celebrities and famous people from politicians, royalty and pop stars.  I have worked extensively with the press and media in this respect and I have examples on my website and also on the internet by typing my name.  I have worked at events and parties where I have analysed and met various VIPS.  Please see my book!  Moving forward I intend to work more with the Establishment ie. Government and The City to help them with both recruitment but also as a means of understanding how to communicate effectively with other nationalities by understanding cultural traits.

Have you analysed your own handwriting? If so, did it reveal anything surprising or useful to you?

I tend not to analyse my own handwriting now but certainly did when I was learning many years ago.  I am very well aware of my frailties and failings and they all show up in my handwriting!  It is useful for me however to be aware of when I am really tired or stressed and this can show up in handwriting even before my body acknowledges it.

What do you hope Harrogate audiences will leave with after experiencing your talk?

I would love Harrogate audiences to leave with a little more knowledge of what graphology is and how it is used but also I would be thrilled if they began to look at the written communication in a new and insightful way.  After reading my book they may be set on the path of becoming their own amateur sleuth.

Emma Bache, Reading Between the Lines, is at 2pm on Saturday 20 October at the Crown Hotel at the Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival, featuring John Simpson, Dr Jane Hawking, David Starkey, Robert Ince, Oz Clarke and more. Click here for the full line-up or to book call the Box Office on 01423 562 303.