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George Burgess
Burgess Family History
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By George Burgess (1829-1905)

Phrenologist in Bristol 1861-1901

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Beauty and Head.


By a natural instinct, we avoid ugly people; but seek, admire and love those who are beautiful.  The reason is – an ugly face is a sign of an ugly nature at the root; while a perfectly handsome or beautiful face is a sign of a fine and beautiful nature at the root.  A plain face often looks pleasant and good, because it has a few pleasing points in it, produced by correspondingly pleasing points of character within.  And a mainly beautiful face is often spoiled because it has a few forbidding points in it, corresponding with a few unpleasant points within.

Perfect – A perfect face, from the point of the chin to the nose, from the point of the nose to the eyebrows, from the eyebrows to the top of the forehead will be three equal parts.  The nose is nearly straight; and the mouth, lips, eyes, &c., are all in harmonious positions and proportions to the face as a whole.

A Handsome Man’s face is firm, and slightly angular in form.

A Beautiful Woman’s face is smooth, and rather oval in form.

Personal Beauty can only be secured, or preserved, by perfecting the health, and the whole mental, social, moral and spiritual nature.


Size – Size of head, other things being equal, is the measure of brain-power.  The average size round man’s head is 22 inches; round woman’s, 21 inches.  The weight of man’s brain is from 40 to 50 ounces; of woman’s, from 35 to 45 ounces.

Skulls – The thicker the skull, the less brain in proportion to the size of the head.  Persons with the largest bones have the thickest skulls.

Small – A uniformly very small head is the sign of a weak brain.

Large – A healthy and uniformly large head is the sign of much brain-power.

Long – A long head, properly shaped, indicates a long out-reaching mind.

Short – A uniformly short head shows a short mind, and but limited foresight.

Broad – a head uniformly broader in its base than above, shows that the physical nature predominates.  A head uniformly broader above than in its base, is a sign that the higher and elevating parts of human nature predominate.  When the whole back half of the head is broadest, it shows that the executive and self-sustaining element predominate; and when the whole front half of the head is broadest, it shows the intellect predominates.  Breadth and fullness of the cerebellum, at the base of the brain behind, indicates the strength of the social, domestic, and sexual qualities.  Breadth behind the ears is a sign of physical courage.  Breadth just before, and about the ears, is a sign of self-love.