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Faces of the People

Richard Altick, 19 August 1982

Physiognomy in the European Novel: Faces and Fortunes 
by Graeme Tytler.
Princeton, 436 pp., £19.10, March 1982, 0 691 06491 1
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A Human Comedy: Physiognomy and Caricature in 19th-century Paris 
by Judith Wechsler.
Thames and Hudson, 208 pp., £18.50, June 1982, 0 500 01268 7
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... of expression’ as ‘a kind of mother-tongue at which we learn to become more or less adept’. Graeme Tytler’s book describes the impact of Lavater, or at least physiognomy as popularised by his successors, on the 19th-century European novel. The device of physical description which after 1800 became a hallmark of fictional technique was, he ...

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