Saturday, September 5, 2015

Beard-Shaving and the Common Use of the Razor

Beard-Shaving and the Common Use of the Razor (1847)

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Apparently shaving a beard is an "unnatural, irrational, unmanly, ungodly and fatal fashion among Christians" according to this mid-19th century tract.  Best I can follow he (and it's a pretty safe bet that the anonymous author is male), he thinks beard-shaving means men no longer reflect God's image though actually he seems far more concerned by the potential physical damage of razors than more theological speculation.  The notes are much longer than the actual text and contain cranky swipes at Turks, Catholics, Russians and the current state of England (though oddly he seems ok with the French). Oh, he ends with "a word in favor of the mustachio" which distributes heat around the lips and helps when, uh, biting cartridges.  Well, I guess we still need that heat thing.