One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair

Front Cover
arsenal pulp press, 2001 - 227 pages
Every man has the capacity to grow facial hair, but the decision to do so has always come with layers of meaning. At one time or another beards come with layers of meaning. At one time or another beards have come to represent wisdom, goodness, sorcery, diabolism, psychological depth, and revolution. They have been purchased, elaborately trimmed, adorned, and dyed. One Thousand Beards is a witty, comprehensive history of facial hair, documenting its continuous rise and fall as a trend. With chapters like the "Medical Beard" the "Gay Beard: and the "Unconscious Beard", One Thousand Beards also shows how manifestations of facial hair have been determined by class, religious belief, historical precedent, and occupational status. With style recipes, information on care and upkeep, and hundreds of pictures of famous men (and women!) with facial hair, this book provides an insightful, light-hearted, and well-groomed look at the cultural influence of facial hair.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - juliayoung - LibraryThing

Pretty much anything you would ever want to know about facial hair is included in Peterkin's book. It contains entertaining chapters on everything from bearded women to the significance of facial hair ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

"Norman the Conqueror did not wear a beard before the conquest, but he and his followers assumed them soon after."
Terrible prose and inaccuracy. Someone should write a cultural history of facial
hair, but it should not be the author of this book.
In case it isn't clear. William was the conqueror, he was from Normandy. One does not put beards on and take them off like clothing, so it is difficult to "not wear" and then "assume" one.

Selected pages


The Antique Beard A History of the Beard
Beards of Fame and Infamy
The AntiBeard A History of Shaving
The Medical Beard
The Religious Beard
The Feminine Beard
The Unconscious Beard
The Gay Beard
The Regulated Beard
Subsidiary Growth Alternate Facial Hair Expressions
The 20th Century Beard
The Postmodern Beard
The Personal Beard Grooming Strategies
Resources and Bibliography

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About the author (2001)

Allan Peterkin is a psychiatrist and the author of numerous books, including One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

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