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Bluebeard

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A bogey, a merciless tyrant, in Charles Perrault’s Contes du Temps. The tale of Bluebeard (Chevalier Raoul) is known to every child, but many have speculated on the original of this despot. Some say it was a satire on Henry VIII., of wife-killing notoriety. Dr. C. Taylor thinks it is a type of the castle lords in the days of knight-errantry. Holinshed calls Giles de Retz, Marquis de Laval, the original Blue-beard. This Giles or Gilles who lived at Machecoul, in Brittany, was accused of murdering six of his seven wives, and was ultimately strangled and burnt in 1440.

“The Bluebeard chamber of his mind, into which no eye but his own must look.”—Carlyle.

⁂ Campbell has a Bluebeard story in his Tales of the Western Highlands, called The Widow and her Daughters. A similar one is No. 39 of Visentini’s collection of Italian stories. So is No. 3 of Bernoni’s collection.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Blown upon
Blowzelinda
Blowzy
Blubber
Blubber Cheeks
Bluchers
Blue
Blue (A)
Blue-apron Statesman (A)
Blue Beans
Bluebeard
Bluebeard’s Key
Blue Billy (A)
Blue Blood
Blue Boar
Blue Bonnets (The)
Blue Books
Blue Bottle
Blue Caps
Blue-coat School
Blue Devils

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Bluebeard