Read the Face Book Summary - Read the Face Book explained in key points
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Read the Face summary

Eric Standop with Elisa Petrini

Face Reading for Success in Your Career, Relationships, and Health

3.4 (181 ratings)
26 mins
Table of Contents

    Read the Face
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    Face reading has fallen in and out of favor across the millennia.

    Face reading has existed for millennia across continents, cultures, and religions. It’s been identified in the ancient hieroglyphics of Egypt and carvings of South America. And in Europe, it traces back to the fifth century BC.

    Physiognomonics – often attributed to the Greek philosopher Aristotle – is the oldest surviving book on the practice. It features ideas from Aristotle’s earlier work, History of Animals, which postulates a connection between personality traits and physical features. Thanks to Alexander the Great, these ideas spread across the Middle East and India with every conquest. 

    The key message here is: Face reading has fallen in and out of favor across the millennia.

    In medieval Europe, face reading became associated with fortune-telling and fell from grace. During the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci rejected it as being “without scientific foundation.”

    But, thankfully, the seventeenth-century English physician Sir Thomas Browne revived the practice in his works Magia Naturalis and De Humana Physiognomia. During the eighteenth century, Swiss theologian Johann Kaspar Lavater expanded on Browne’s ideas. He produced a four-volume encyclopedia titled Physiognomische Fragmente, which included input from contemporaries like Goethe.

    In the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin theorized that humans and animals share universal facial expressions – like raised eyebrows to demarcate surprise. He also concluded that all humans share the same core expressions, including anger, fear, and disgust. These findings were published in his third work on evolution, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.

    By the mid-nineteenth century, the Italian Cesare Lombroso was incorporating classical principles and Darwin’s theories into his new field of science: criminology. Among his other dubious claims, he considered left-handedness to be a sure sign of villainy.

    In the early twentieth century, new medical technologies gained popularity in the West, and physiognomy once more fell out of favor. But in Asia, it has remained a recognized discipline for thousands of years. 

    In fact, face reading can be traced back to the Chinese philosopher – and Confucius contemporary – Lao Tzu. Briefly banned during China’s Cultural Revolution in the ’60s and ’70s, face reading has since been revived. Today, the Chinese practice of face reading is the holy grail for many face readers, including the author.

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    What is Read the Face about?

    Read the Face (2021) is a beginner’s guide to the millennia-old art and science of physiognomy, or face reading. It provides a brief history of the practice, outlines techniques and methods, and includes insightful case studies.

    Who should read Read the Face?

    • Anyone curious about physiognomy
    • People eager to understand themselves and others better
    • Couples interested in finding out about love compatibility

    About the Author

    Eric Standop left his high-powered job 15 years ago when an encounter with a face reader in Cape Town challenged what he thought could be gleaned from the visage of another person. He set off on a journey around the globe to learn about face reading and its diagnostic techniques. Today, he’s a speaker, advisor, and face-reading expert. He’s also the founder of the Face Reading Academy.

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