His Tumultuous Career
as the Greatest Occultist of the Century
Now on Amazon [ASIN B01MSFNWZ2] in pre-release, Master of the Tell Tale Hand is the first biography (fully illustrated) of Cheiro, the palmist, who came to so dominate the occult world of Europe and America in the 1890’s and early 20th century that his name became synonymous with psychic divination techniques of all types. This is not a work on palmistry, as even now, 81 years after the publication of his last book, all of Cheiro’s books from 1894 to 1935, including his one novel and a volume of poetry, are still in print. It is rather the story Cheiro’s tumultuous career from out of work Irish actor to the absolute pinnacle of Parisian society a celebrated member of the wealthy elite, to be found lying drunk and dying on a street corner in Hollywood.
But it wasn’t Cheiro who first raised palmistry from decades of indifference, even contempt, to become a must for any prominent society soirees of British, European and American ladies of fashion. That was Edward Heron-Allen, a British polymath, whose two books in 1883 and 1885 stripped away the Hindu astrology and county fair mysticism to present for the first time an apparent scientific system of reading the shape of the hand and the lines of the hand. E H-A was of a wealthy family and so was already accepted into the upper levels of British society, thus his books ignited a craze for knowledge of palmistry where no social gathering of any prominence was complete without the presence of E H-A reading the dainty bejeweled hands of all the ladies present.
E H-A embarked on a planned three-year tour of America which lasted less than a year as interest in palmistry in the U/S. faded, and stories of E H-A consorting with “burlesque ladies” closed the doors of American society. Heron-Allen returned to England where he immersed himself in other areas.
But an out of work Irish actor stranded in New York when his theater troupe returned to England , William John “Jack” Warner had experienced some of the Heron-Allen enthusiasm, perhaps even attending E H-A’s first lecture at Chickering Hall in New York, and so, reading the Heron-Allen books and other works on palmistry, and, first rejecting the name Solomon, Warner took the name Cheiro as his performing nom de guerre and set out to seize some of the gold he saw flowing into the hands of the Englishman.
Master of the Tell Tale Hand tells the story of how Jack Warner became the legendary Cheiro, acquiring a fortune in the process, only to lose it all in a single day.