The Politics of Gesture: The Leaders’ Debate

‘the hand being the substitute and vicegerent of the tongue, in a full, and majestic way of expression, presents the signifying faculties of the soul, and the inward discourse of reason; and as another tongue, which we may justly call the spokesman of the body, it speaks for all the members thereof, denoting their suffrages, and including their votes.’ J[ohn] B[ulwer], Chirologia or the Natural Language of the Hand (1644)

“Because body language is unintentional it is much more honest and revealing than speech,” Dr Peter Collett, Sky News, April 15 2010.

‘… he is observ’d, when he speaks, to move his right Hand partly open’d, and his Fingers bending downwards in a Posture of one that is striving to grasp at a Heap of Money, which extraordinary Gesture of this famous Orator, shews how far his Principles, whatever they be, are influenc’d by that Beloved Mamon.’

The Censor, 10 August 1726, on John ‘Orator’ Henly.

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