Several versions of Charles Perrault’s French fairy tale “Bluebeard” exist today, such as the pantomime Bluebeard (2003) by Paul Reakes, S. P. Somtow’s novel Bluebeard’s Castle (2003), and Pierre Furlan’s short story “Blue-beard’s Work-shop” (2007), along with dozens of other pantomimes and harlequinades. Two of the most recent “Bluebeard” works are a collection of poetry, Bluebeard’s Wives, and a collection of short stories; both use the allusion to the fairy tale in their titles. Bluebeard seems unlikely to reenter English cultural parlance as a children’s nursery story. The vacuum left when Bluebeard the serial wife killer was censored out of fairy tale collections for children is now firmly occupied by the image of Bluebeard the “pirate.” But artistic engagement with the Bluebeard fairy tale is not going away anytime soon.
Keywords: fairy tale, Bluebeard, Charles Perrault, Paul Reakes, Bluebeard’s Castle, Pierre Furlan, pantomimes, harlequinades, poetry, short stories