Gitta's Literary Escapades

Just another reader taking on (modern) classics, best-sellers, award-winners, non-fiction, and (guilty pleasure) chicklit armed with common sense, a brain and feminism.

Blue Beard - Charles Perrault Review Series #3

The Tales Of Mother Goose - Charles Perrault, D.J. Munro, Gustave Doré, Charles Welsh

Welcome to the third part of the Charles Perrault Review Series.

An eight-part serialised set of reviews of the famous fairy tales by the seventeenth-century French author.


Each week I will upload a review of one of his tales. For an overall introduction, read the first review.



III. Blue Beard

This fairy tale is not suitable for children.


Reclining upon a bed was a princess of radiant beauty

When a gentlemen is known for his hideous and terrifying beard, there is a chance he is actually really nice. However, when you also know that he already has seven wives and no one has heard or seen them in years, alarm bells should start going off. You should not marry him. If you were entering into a polygamous marriage you at least want to meet his other wives, wouldn't you? Moreover, you ought to have a plan when you decide to snoop around exactly where he told you not to go.


For a man who is planning to kill his eighth wife too, he is remarkably civil. His evil-man-bantering is downright gentlemen-like, calling her Madame whilst threatening to chop of her head. Is is also a good Christian, for he allows her to go up to her room and pray. If patience is a virtue, he was a virtuous man, for his wife truly took her time praying. Time during which she hoped her brothers would arrive for their visit. They waltz in, kill Blue Beard and save their sister. The end.


The moral, though a good one, does not really match the severity of the tale. Curiosity causes pain and regret. So what was the girl supposed to do. Not check his serial-killer, wife-slayer trophy-room? Ignorance is bliss? Beats me.



Charles Perrault Review Series



Details & Where to Buy


This work is in the public domain and can be read and downloaded for free to read online or on your e-reader or Kindle at Project Gutenberg.


First published:


Original title:

La Barbe blue


Charles Perrault


Online at Classics Illustrated




17 - 30 May 2013







Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Book Depository USA

Book Depository UK

Abebooks USA

Abebooks UK


Currently reading

Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman, Jerome Loving
Progress: 12/478 pages
The Luminaries
Eleanor Catton
Progress: 31 %
The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien
Progress: 506/1082 pages
Edward W. Said
Progress: 34/396 pages
Coffee at Luke's: An Unauthorized Gilmore Girls Gabfest
Leah Wilson, Jennifer Crusie
Progress: 17/197 pages
The Complete Poems
Catullus, Guy Lee, Titian
Progress: 105/244 pages
Renaissance Art
Geraldine A. Johnson
Progress: 23/176 pages
The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language
Mark Forsyth