Portrait of Giacomo Casanova.
Portrait of Giacomo Casanova by Pietro Longhi.

‘Giacomo Casanova had the long ring finger!’

In the history of the world literature there are many references to variations in the length of fingers. But of all revelations none are more lively than the informative comment in the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova (Jacques Casanova de Seingalt, 1725-1798). Finger professor John T. Manning points points out in ‘The Finger Book’ to an anecdote of Casanova – who has been described as the ‘world’s greatest lover’.

Finger professor John T. Manning.

Manning writes on page 2 of his second book The Finger book:

“Casanova was an eighteenth-century musician, gambler, soldier, philosopher, writer, librarian, aspiring priest and, of course, womaniser. It is anecdotal but entirely unsurprising that we find from his diaries that he had a ring finger noticably longer than his index finger.”

“Casanova’s adventures took him across Europe, and it is during his stay in Spain that we learn of the relative length of his fingers. At the time Casanova was enjoying the hospitality of the German neoclassical painter Anton Raphael Mengs. Today Mengs’s work is often regarded as cold and contrived, but at the time he was seen by many as Europe’s greatest living painter, and Goya was one of his many students.”

“In the course of his stay Casanova’s relations with his host were less than cordial. Mengs was openly scathing at what he saw as Casanova’s neglect of his religious duties, and he even attempted to evict Casanova from his household after he had failed to take the sacrament at Easter. Casanova meanwhile complained that Mengs was a lascivous, bad-tempered, jealous, avaricous drunkard who beat his children to excess.”

“It is against this background of growing mutual dislike that Casanova recounts a dispute in which he drew Mengs’s attention to the hand of the pricipal figure in one of his paintings, claiming that it was faulty because the ring finger was shorter than the index finger. Mengs assured him this was the correct human condition, showing Casanova his own long index finger and short ring finger. Laughing, Casanova displayed his badge of prenatal masculinity, and asserted that he was sure that his ring finger, unlike Mengs’s, was ‘like that of all children descended from Adam’. A wager of a hundred pistoles was made, and a hurried comparison with the ring fingers of the painter’s servants showed the ‘Casanova pattern’ to be the more common.”

The Memoirs of Giacomo Casanova di Seingalt.

Peters et al. (2002) reported that Casanova made two clear statements: first, that the ring finger is relatively longer than the index finger and, second, that this is the case for both men and women. What follows is a quote from the work of Casanova (The Memoirs of Casanova: Spanish Passions) about one of his conversations with the German neoclassic painter Anton Raphael Mengs.

QUOTE FROM CASANOVA (1794):

… Once I dared to tell him that he had made a mistake in the hand of one of his figures, as the ring finger was shorter than the index. He replied sharply that it was quite right, and shewed me his hand by way of proof. I laughed, and shewed him my hand in return, saying that I was certain that my hand was made like that of all the descendants of Adam.

“Then whom do you think that I am descended from?”
“I don’t know, but you are certainly not of the same species as myself.”
“You mean you are not of my species; all well-made hands of men, and women too, are like mine and not like yours.”
“I’ll wager a hundred doubloons that you are in the wrong.”

He got up, threw down brushes and palette, and rang up his servants, sayin,-

“We shall see which is right.”

The servant came, and on examination he found that I was right. For once in his life, he laughed and passed it off as a joke, saying-

“I am delighted that I can boast of being unique in one particular, at all events.”

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:
BBC Test: finger length & sex I.D.!
Finger length & Cupid’s science!
The science of gaydar: finger length & sexual preference!
What they say about men with long ring fingers!

Giacomo Casanova's 'History of My Life' - part 1 to 12.

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Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has the long ring finger!

Usain Bolt has the long ring finger, a marker for sprint talent!

The 2008 olympics in Beijing pointed out that Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is the fastest man on sprint ever! And last sunday he set another new world record at the Athletics World Championships 2009 Berlin. How come that Jamaican sprinters run so fast?

Earlier this year British researchers studied 241 boys aged 10 to 17 who took part in a sports talent-spotting competition in Qatar.

Professor John T. Manning (a.k.a. ‘the finger professor’) said about the finger research:

“We found finger ratios of the right and left hand were positively linked with sprinting times in boys. The advantage they had was soon apparent after the start of the sprint and remained steady thereafter.”

Previous studies have shown long-distance runners have the same hand characteristics (low 2D:4D digit ratio). But in this perspective one should not forget that longer ring fingers have also been linked with everything from a lower risk of heart disease and exam success to male aggression and higher earnings in the workplace. So the predictive value of a long ring finger is not very specific, nor reliable in individuals.

Nevertheless, according John T. Manning it’s a hand fact that Jamaicans are known for having the long ring finger – and it’s confirmed by various hand photos of the most successful sprinters from Jamaica.

MORE DETAILS AVAILABLE AT:

The hands Usain Bolt – olympic world record holder sprint!
Usain Bolt has the long ring finger – measure for sprint talent
Finger length explains the success of Jamaican sprinters!
About finger length & athletic succes
Why Jamaican sprinters run so fast!
Jamaican samples show low 2D:4D ratio

Female sprinters from Jamaica have the long ring finger!

The right hand of the 40th US president: Ronald Reagan!

The right hand of Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Reagan - right hand waving photo!

President Ronald Reagan: right hand waving photo

Presidential Palm Reading:
the Ronald Reagan ‘hand-file’!

• President: 1981-1989;
• Dexterity: left handed;
• Hand type: square hand shape;
• Fingers: normal fingers, long ring finger + short index finger.

 

A few months ago TIME presented a hand photo essay of the last 9 US presidents, and palm reader Robin Gile was asked to present a hand analysis for each president. Without knowing that it was Ronald Reagan’s hand, this is how Robin Gile described Ronald Reagan’s hand:

“The Most Earth-y of the Lot”

“This person is constitutionally stronger than most, because the head line and heart line are almost one line,” says Robin Gile. “He’s the most earth-y of the lot, but he’s stubborn. He has a hard time shifting gears or taking on a new stance. He’s not attached to ostentatious consumerism. I bet he’s the sort of man who would say, “Let me lease a good car. It doesn’t have to be a Cadillac.”

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:

The hands of various US celebrities!
A very impressive ‘right hand waving’ photo of Ronald Reagan!
Presidential palm reading: the hands of Ronald Reagan!
US presidents usually have a low ‘2D:4D finger ratio’!
How to recognize the hand of a US president?

The right hand of the 41th US president: George H.W. Bush!

The right hand of George H.W. Bush.

George H.W. Bush - right hand waving photo!

President George H.W. Bush: right hand waving photo

Presidential Palm Reading:
the George H.W. Bush ‘hand-file’!

• President: 1989-1993;
• Dexterity: left handed;
• Hand type: normal;
• Fingers: normal fingers, low set long ring finger + long pinky.

 

Earlier this year TIME presented hand photos of the last 9 US presidents to palm reader Robin Gile, and asked him to present a palm reading for each president. Without knowing that it was George H.W. Bush’s hand, this is how Robin Gile described Bush senior’s hand:

“The Most Alpha of All the Hands”

“This man is outgoing, but not necessarily charming or witty,” says Gile. “But his presence is felt. This is the most alpha of all the hands. He has a high degree of eccentricity. I think he’s pretty ruthless. I bet this is Bush Sr. I could see this guy running the CIA.”

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:

The inauguration hand photo of George H.W. Bush!
Presidential palm reading: the hands of George H.W. Bush!
US presidents usually have a low ‘2D:4D finger ratio’!
How to recognize the hand of a US president?

The right hand of the 42th president of the US: Bill Clinton!

The right hand of Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton - right hand waving photo!

President Bill Clinton: right hand waving photo

Presidential Palm Reading:
the Bill Clinton ‘hand-file’!

• President: 1993-2001;
• Dexterity: left handed;
• Hand type: normal;
• Fingers: normal fingers, long ring finger + pinky.

 

Earlier this year TIME presented hand photos of the last 9 US presidents to palm reader Robin Gile, and asked him to present a palm reading for each president. Without knowing that it was Bill Clinton’s hand, this is how Robin Gile described Clinton’s hand (a hand analysis of Hillary Clinton’s hands is available via the ‘SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING’ below):

“Presence and Charm”

“This man is adequate — not inspiring, but efficient,” says Gile. “He holds on to past failures too strongly, as indicated by the hollow in his palm, and doesn’t move on. His little finger curves away from his hand, showing that he had high expectations of himself, so high they are probably unrealistic. His index finger shows that he has presence and charm. He’s probably good at getting a room full of people to do what he needed them to do. But the curve of his thumb, and lack of padding on top tells me he’s not a good finisher.”

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:

A ZOOM IN on the hands of Bill Clinton!
Presidential palm reading: the hands of Bill Clinton!
The hand of Hillary Clinton!
Hillary Clinton: ‘polarizing hands?’
How to recognize the hand of a US president?

The right hand of the 43 president of the US: George W. Bush!

The right hand of George W. Bush.

George W. Bush - inauguration photo!

President George W. Bush: inauguration photo

Presidential Palm Reading:
the George W. Bush ‘hand-file’!

• President: 2001-2009;
• Dexterity: right handed;
• Hand type: square, fleshy basis;
• Fingers: short fingers, long ring finger.

 

Earlier this year TIME presented hand photos of the last 9 US presidents to palm reader Robin Gile, and asked him to present a palm reading for each president. Without knowing that it was George W. Bush’s hand, this is how Robin Gile described Bush’s hand:

“An Idealist”

“The straightness of his little finger says he’s very honest,” Gile says. “The length and shape of his ring finger shows he’s good at making calculated bets. I would guess this is Clinton. He shows real leadership in his heart line. This is as close to an idealist as I see in this selection. He tries to make the best of things, circumstances and people. He’s got more heart than head. And the angle of the thumb shows he’s not very adaptable. The strong life line — which contrary to popular belief, doesn’t indicate length of life, but quality and determination — shows this person won’t quit. His career is his life.”

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:

The hands of George W. Bush!
Presidential palm reading: the hands of George W. Bush!
The body politic: presidential fingerpointing to fist pumps!
How to recognize the hand of a US president?