Handwriting analysis of the Bronte sisters

Emily painted by her brother Branwell.

Portrait of Emily Brontë by her brother Branwell.

While reading this excellent wiki article on the Brontë sisters,  I saw this little sample of their writing and thought I’d give it a quick analysis.

Writing in an age where women novelists were considered inferior and even immoral, the sisters took male pseudonyms.  Currer Bell was Charlotte, Ellis Bell was Emily and Acton Bell was Anne.


Charlotte’s writing is the largest and boldest, showing more self-confidence than the others and the big sweeping C shows both ego and a strong desire to be recognized.   The upper loop in the C, and the big loops on the upper parts of all the looped letters,  show a huge imagination and also sensitivity to criticism.  The writing is fast and has good flow,  an indication of the speed of her intellect.

Emily’s writing is the narrowest of the sisters.  Narrow writers are fiercely independent.  They are able to shut out others and live in their own world.  Clyfford Still also had this kind of writing.   Although the cramped quality of the writing shows shyness, the pressure Emily put on her pen is the greatest of the sisters.  Pressure shows strength of will.  Emily’s will was ferocious.   Her mind was the quickest of the sisters, which shows in the speed of her writing.

I did not expect to find the slant of Emily’s letters leaning so far forward.  This usually found in more extroverted people and indicates strong emotions and a reaching out toward others.  It may be that Emily’s shyness concealed a desire to connect with people, but only on her own terms.  The glob of ink at the end of “Bell” is an indicator of violence.   Emily had a fierce temper and wanted to win at any cost.

Anne’s writing is interesting.  It is the most delicate of all the sisters, indicating sensitivity, grace and perhaps spirituality.  Her capitals are modest;  she did not seek attention for herself.  The writing is very neat,  which shows an orderly mind.  Meticulous in attention to detail, the writing shows Anne to be the most  most logical of the sisters.  The spaces between letters show a generous nature, too.  There’s a little glob at the end of her final strokes, like Emily’s,  but it’s not strong enough to be violent.   Just a sign that she wanted to have the last word.

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