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The 10 Most Impressive Beards In Literature

Prolific writers, prolific facial hair. Here are the top 10 literary beards ranked in order of increasing awesomeness.

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10. Anton Chekhov

"The gentleman with the little round beard sat down beside me and continued: 'Yes, when Russians come together they discuss nothing but abstract subjects and women.'"

Anton Chekhov, "Ariadne"

9. Charles Dickens

"'There never was another man with such a face as yours, unless it was your father, and I suppose he is singeing his grizzled red beard by this time, unless you came straight from the old 'un without any father at all betwixt you; which I shouldn't wonder at, a bit.'"

— Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

8. Shel Silverstein

Jerry Yulsman

Jerry Yulsman


My beard grows to my toes,

I never wears no clothes,

I wraps my hair

Around my bare,

And down the road I goes.

— Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

7. Henry David Thoreau

''At this rate, we shall all be obliged to let our beards grow at least, if only to hide the nakedness of the land and make a sylvan appearance.''

Henry David Thoreau, The Maine Woods

6. Ernest Hemingway


"If any man wants to raise a beard let him. Why don't you raise a beard, Signor Maggiore?"

Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

5. Allen Ginsberg

"Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in

an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?"

— Allen Ginsberg, "A Supermarket in California"

4. Herman Melville

"'Speak, thou vast and venerable head,' muttered Ahab, 'which, though ungarnished with a beard, yet here and there lookest hoary with mosses; speak, mighty head, and tell us the secret thing that is in thee.'"

— Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

3. Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"Wringing his hands and screaming, he rushed up to the grey-headed old man with the grey beard, who was shaking his head in disapproval."

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

2. Walt Whitman

"Washes and razors for foofoos — for me freckles and a bristling beard."

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

1. Leo Tolstoy

"A little muzhik was working on the railroad, mumbling in his beard."

— Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

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