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When Victorian men started growing their beards from the 1850s, what exactly did they think they were doing? More importantly who were they doing it for? In this illustrated talk, Kathryn Hughes, author of Victorians Undone, discusses the politics of facial hair in the nineteenth century and reveals the surprising stories of the men and women behind some of the period’s best known beards. Kathryn Hughes is Professor of Life Writing at the University of East Anglia and a contracted writer for the Guardian newspaper. She has written prize-winning biographies of George Eliot and Mrs Beeton. Her most recent book is Victorians Undone, a study of five famous Victorians’ body parts.