ARE you oversensitive or easily distracted? Creative with a strong imagination? The UK’s leading handwriting expert, Emma Bache, reads between the lines

EMMA BACHE is sick of dodging zombie pedestrians on pavements, eyes fixed and souls hooked, to small screens. “Since the advent of social media and obsession with iPhones ruling our lives, both socially and professional, nobody looks where they are going anymore, nobody looks anyone in the eye, nobody shakes hands, nobody uses their innate intuition to judge other people to see if they’re friend or foe,” she says. “We go on public transport and don’t even notice who we are sitting next to, we could easily be sitting next to someone with a gun or a knife, we wouldn’t even notice.”

As the UK’s leading handwriting expert, a graphologist and trained psychotherapist, Emma is calling for a new emphasis on the importance of graphology as a form of psychology to help us understand what makes other people tick, how they get on with others, and what’s really going on behind the façade.

“I think our ability to understand our fellow human beings is pretty much nil now, because we’re all narcissists, we’re all introspective, we’re all obsessed with friends on Facebook and likes on Twitter. It’s not just the generation below me, middle-aged people can only really operate when in front of a screen. The High Street is shutting because we’ve got Amazon, Post Offices are shutting, so general day to day meeting and greeting other people and normal levels of human communication are going.”

She’s not calling for the return of slow communication and letter-writing, in the same way slow cooking made a come-back – although she does think a Letter Writing Day would be good for the national soul – but believes the need to ‘read’ people is increasingly important as we lose our ‘innate ability to keep ourselves safe and judge people’.

“If I was God and ruler of the world I would be calling for people to communicate in a normal sane way as opposed to just using iPhones but that’s never going to happen; we’re never going to go backwards. So what I’m trying to advocate is that we should see the value of every other form of psychology and analysing people as we have lost the human instinct that we were born with,” she says. “For me, the value of graphology is very much as a form of psychology.”

Emma believes this is important in our everyday lives up to the very top – the politicians we vote for. She’s analysed Donald Trump’s handwriting many times. It’s all in her book, Reading between the Lines: What Your Handwriting Says About You.

“I have analysed many celebrities and famous people from politicians, royalty and pop stars. I have uncovered all sorts of incredible things in handwriting… 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 premeditation.”

Emma shows how penmanship is a collection of signals that tells the world more about you, than what you’re actually writing, from your sex drive to your creativity. She makes frequent media appearances on the subject, and has even helped crack cases of fraud, giving insight into the criminal mind. Graphology can be valuable to employers for example, as ‘no acting skills can hide the personality’ in a handwritten application letter.

But handwriting also plays a hugely personal part of our lives; a fingerprint of our soul.

“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.”

What does she hope audiences attending her talk in Harrogate will leave with?

“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, October 20, at the Crown Hotel as part of the Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival, featuring John Simpson, Dr Jane Hawking, David Starkey, Robert Ince, Oz Clarke and more.
  • Visit for the full line-up.
  • Box Office: 01423-562303.