‘Education’, Brightonian cartoon, 1880s

This cartoon was published in the Brightonian newspaper in the 1880s. It is a portrait of EJ Marshall, the headmaster of Brighton Grammar School.

Beard appreciation

Marshall’s most famous pupil was the Brighton-born artist Aubrey Beardsley. But we’re more interested in the beard on display in this portrait.

Large beards and other forms of bushy facial hair became very fashionable in the late 1800s. This is believed to be partly a result of the Crimean War (1853-6).

Many soldiers returned to Britain from that war wearing heavy facial hair, as a result of having had limited supplies with which to shave. Celebrated as heroes, these veterans seem to have inspired a new appreciation for beards among Victorian men.

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