Sometimes you just want to kick back and read a good book. Our wide range of literary authors had magnificent beards. While we won’t be looking at the likes of Hemingway or Thoreau, we’ll instead be looking at books written specifically about beards.
Our selection of books are relatively new books written about the history of beards, how to grow a beard, and we even threw in a picture book for beard styles.
Beards in Historical Context
One of the first books every beardsmen has to read is a book called Of Beards and Men, written by Christopher Oldstone-Moore.
One of the main ideas behind the book is comparing beard trends over time and what it meant to have one. Over time there were major shifts that changed the definition behind masculinity. The author comes up with four different periods of beards through history.
He starts right after Alexander the Great during the second century. In Rome, Emperor Hadrian grew out his beard and started a trend. This was one of the first times it was established as something against the norm, as Alexander had made shaving the standard throughout the western world. Follow this he lists the Middle Ages, Renaissance and then the 19th century.
The book is a fascinating read that interweaves political climates and historical events and shifting cultural attitudes through the times. He also explored the spiritual and religious aspects of beards as well. Stoic philosophers were some of the most ardent followers of the naturalistic benefits of a beard.
The author and his subsequent writings in his book question the reasons why we even shave in the first place, as it is really just a cultural choice. After reading this book you might think about the implications for our current bearded renaissance.
Another great book that touches upon the historical aspects of beards is called One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair by Allen Peterkin. It offers some insight into the history along with pictures and information on upkeep and growing.
Another great classic book is aptly called: The Art of Growing a Beard, written in the 1970s by Marvin Grosswirth. There are some good tips in there and gives you a nice reflection on a cultural artifact in the world of beards.
Finally, we have a book simply titled Beard by Matthew Rainwaters. It’s a collection of pictures from the World Beard and Moustache Championships, yes that is an event. Some of these portraits of filled with the wildest, longest styles you could ever imagine. There’s some strange ones and styling beards you might want to emulate.
There are some essays throughout the book as well written by some of the championship’s competitors It’s another great book for those looking to see some cool masterfully crafted styles in print.
Check out some of these books and let us know if you’ve come across anything else our fellow beards might want to read.