Happy birthday to Gothic lit god Edgar Allan Poe, whose chilling tales have influenced innumerable artists of every kind across the globe and have been a comfort for angsty teens everywhere. While the scribe’s life story is a fascinating one filled with madness and love, we’re celebrating the grim gentleman’s legacy by calling attention to one of his greatest attributes: his debonair mustache. Poe’s appearance has been well documented, citing that he traded long sideburns for his now-famous facial hair, which he first grew around 1845. An article in the 1878 copy of Scribner’s Magazine, “The Last Days of Edgar A. Poe,” describes the writer’s iconic stache more specifically:
“He wore a dark mustache, scrupulously kept, but not entirely concealing a slightly contracted expression of the mouth and an occasional twitching of the upper lip, resembling a sneer. This sneer, indeed, was easily excited — a motion of the lip, scarcely perceptible, and yet intensely expressive. There was in it nothing of ill-nature, but much of sarcasm … “
What other literary greats have memorable mustaches? Find out past the break, and let us know who you’d add to the list.
A heavily mustachioed man with a wild mop of curly hair, Slaughterhouse-Five writer Kurt Vonnegut is a scruffy symbol of the ’60s and ’70s counterculture movement — something the author touched upon in several of his works. So great was his facial hair that many celebrate “Vonnegut Day.” The author espoused human kindness and love, and we adore that mustache.