Every Childlike Author needs a Playground.

A Few Authors… and their Hair, Part Two

On the heels of blogging success, my tribute to famous hair and their authors famous authors and their hair continues. If you missed the first installment, then you can click on the following link to read Part One: A Few Authors… and their Hair, Part One

I now give you Part Two, of A Few Authors… and Their Hair.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the author of the famed Sherlock Holmes detective stories, among other things, like The White Company, or um, well, does anybody know or care about anything else except Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson? Born in 1859, Doyle grew up to solve only a single mystery involving a missing woman and Scottish train schedules. He also changed his name to Dr. John Watson at will, or perhaps out of confused lunacy, as he often signed autographs in the name of the character which he himself created (that, or the reverse: Dr. Watson was the real identity and Sir Doyle the fictional one). It’s rumored that his personality disorder was the initial cause for his interest in spiritualism. However, most literary scholars have concluded that the author’s interest in spiritualism was (indirectly) caused by his mustache. In the words of one of these scholars:

Doyle’s, or Watson’s, mustache (however you want to refer to him), was a result of painstaking care. Each morning he would wax it with a mixture of bear grease and cement, before putting his face mere inches away from a heated brazier in order to bake the treatment into a hardness rivaling high-tech ceramics. The spiritualism arose from an incident involving a London cab, in which he stumbled and impaled a beautiful woman with one side of his dangerously hard icepick facial hair. The woman died, and Doyle was ever afterward a changed man, often seen twirling his mustache during séances. We can only guess that “The Woman” haunted him for the rest of his life.

He would often prick his own fingers while carelessly stroking the pointy ends.

He would often prick his own fingers while carelessly stroking the pointy ends.

Oscar Wilde

A bit of a dandy, Oscar Wilde is the notorious author of the notorious book The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the stage play, The Importance of Being Earnest. Besides his delightful name (Wilde, Oscar), he is the creator of the magnificent social excuse rightly titled “the Bunbury.” This excuse is used to “get out of” doing or attending something undesirable or boring by creating a fictional person or event that requires your immediate presence elsewhere. Ironically, Wilde himself was unable to use the excuse effectively when he was arrested and jailed for gross indecency (you’d think he would’ve been able to get out of it). Wilde Oscar was born in the middle of the nineteenth century and lived just long enough to see the twentieth. But it seems he could barely stand the thought of living in another, new and foreign century for even a single year, and promptly died on November 30th, 1900. With his death, regrettably, went his rich, full-bodied hair. It’s said that for weeks on end women attempted to dig up his grave in order to cut off his locks—presumably to make a wig. Guards had to be put at every graveyard entrance to preserve what was left of Wilde’s dignity, because after all, he did wear fur coats.

His hair, for all practical purposes, is on the verge of rivaling Farrah Fawcett's.

His hair, for all practical purposes, is on the verge of rivaling Farrah Fawcett’s.

Leo Tolstoy

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, or Leo for short, is the author of depressing Russian literature novels such as Anna Karenina and War and Peace. In addition to these, he also wrote The Kingdom of God is Within You, which influenced both Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. Born a really long time ago, Tolstoy was a contemporary of the Israelite leader, Moses, with whom he maintained a dear friendship. Each of them believed that a long white beard was essential to creating an aura of wisdom and was the prime way to win friends and influence people, contrary to Dale Carnegie’s popularized theories. However, both Tolstoy and Moses found it difficult to grow a white beard early on in life, and when the beard of Moses turned pale before Tolstoy’s, a schism occurred between the two of them. Moses took the Israelites and began building an army of followers with a rigorous set of laws, and Tolstoy remained in Russia to advocate pacifism and civil disobedience. Despite their rift, Tolstoy is alleged to have retained warm feelings for Moses—feelings supposedly evidenced by Leo’s professed Christianity and his carefully neglected white beard. Moses, on the other hand, was last heard on record saying, “Leo was jealous of my beard. He still is. It poisoned him and poisoned our friendship. He’s never forgiven me for going white first, and I can’t forgive him for holding such a petty grudge.”

The only thing rivaling the size of Tolstoy's beard is the size of Tolstoy's nose.

The only thing rivaling the size of Tolstoy’s beard is the size of Tolstoy’s nose.

Bill Murray with a Mustache, AKA Edgar Allen Poe

Bill Murray, or Edgar Allen Poe, is the great poet best known for quoting a raven about a hundred thousand times in a row, which is either comedic or boring. He then rather unimaginatively titled the said work, The Raven. Poe is also the author of A Tell-tale Heart, The Purloined Letter, and The Pit and the Pendulum, all equally unimaginative titles (you probably don’t have to read them now) . Some experts believe that Poe deliberately wrote horror in order to distract from his time-traveling, when he would use the pseudonym of Bill Murray. This, of course, is ridiculous. Everyone knows comedian Bill Murray is the one doing the time traveling, not Poe, and as evidence, I merely cite you the famous documentary Groundhog Day, which has time travel, comedy, and recognizable elements of horror—horror being the primary characteristic of Poe’s writing. So nice try, Bill Murray, but you didn’t fool us with your weak nom de plume. At any rate, the Murray-Poe entity has clearly mastered the hair-plastered-onto-the-forehead look… the mustache is just a bonus.

Clear, visible, image-able, see-able proof that Bill Murray with a Mustache is Edgar Allan Poe.

Clear, visible, image-able, see-able proof that Bill Murray with a Mustache is Edgar Allan Poe.

George R.R. Martin

George Raymond Richard Martin, born in 1948, shares his birth year with Terry Pratchett, meaning he’s probably older than you, and may vaguely remember things like color television’s commercial debut. Martin is the author of the current bestselling series, A Song of Ice and Fire, which forms the basis of, and is probably best known for, the HBO TV show, Game of Thrones. Additionally, Martin is so aged that as a kid he thought watching “the big ships go up and down the Kill Van Kull” in Bayonne, New Jersey, was as entertaining as watching the popular television show he would eventually beget.

Beyond this, however, his status as an author is solidified by his appearance, which is large, looming, and hairy. He is typically seen wearing a cap and some sort of tortoise brooch, which is narrowly believed to be the Great A’Tuin of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. (This is a common mistake since Great A’Tuin is a Giant Star Turtle flying through the cosmos, and the cosmos are easily confused with Martin’s vast jacket lapels.) G.R.R.M follows what is known as “conservative-beard-theory” which asserts that all beards tend towards a state of maximum disorder. Hence the use of scissors, albeit sparingly. It should also be noted that Terry Pratchett, Leo Tolstoy, Moses, and Patrick Rothfuss do not support the conservative-beard-theory.

Note the turtle brooch. And the hat. And the narrow, smug look. He's plainly amused by the big ships going up and down the Kill Van Kull.

Note the turtle brooch. And the hat. And the narrow, smug look. He’s plainly amused by the big ships going up and down the Kill Van Kull.

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is the ultimate in children’s books, having written such favorites as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, and many many more. Born in 1916, he grew up a little and was subsequently tortured in an English boarding school for using his telekinesis on a teacher and magically transforming several of his peers into ducks. This experience formed the basis for Matilda and The Magic Finger respectively. Later, Dahl would become part of the Royal Air Force and fight in World War II, where he was ridiculed to tears by the German troops for his abnormal height and enormous ears. This experience would eventually be retold in The BFG, as well as result in an ineffectual attempt to mock German bratwursts and wieners via the fictional vegetable he styled the “snozzcumber.” In fact, most of Dahl’s works are autobiographical and should be taken as literal accounts of his life. The exceptions, of course, are the books Boy and Going Solo, as it’s apparent they are both fictional.

Ultimately, however, Roald Dahl was a master of hair rather than story-telling. He was such a brilliant hand with the stuff on top of his head that he needed very little of it to convey a full style and rich expression. In the photo below, he demonstrates the epitome of the just-did-a-somersault-on-a-trampoline look, which is a difficult derivative of the static-electric style of the 1980’s. He died later on November 23rd, 1990, which was an incredibly selfish act and a poor birthday present for anyone born on that date.

The Just-did-a-somersault-on-the-trampoline look is even more impressive considering the general absence of top-hair.

The just-did-a-somersault-on-a-trampoline look is even more impressive considering the general absence of top-hair. No easy feat.

This concludes Part Two, of A Few Authors… and their Hair.


4 responses

  1. Pingback: A Few Authors… and their Hair, Part One | The Playground

  2. Alex Hurst

    Love the idea behind this series! Those authors really did have some amazing hair!


    March 21, 2014 at 9:25 am

    • The best part about it is that each one was fun to write… which I hope makes it more fun to read. Thanks for commenting!


      March 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

      • Alex Hurst

        It definitely shows that you were enjoying yourself. 🙂 no problem!


        March 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm

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