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BluebeardA Reader's Guide to the English Tradition$
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Casie E. Hermansson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781604732306

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604732306.001.0001

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Pirates and True Bluebeards

Pirates and True Bluebeards

(p.21) Chapter 2 Pirates and True Bluebeards

Casie E. Hermansson

University Press of Mississippi

In Charles Perrault’s fairy tale, Bluebeard was never a pirate. Yet he is always linked to piracy, particularly to Blackbeard, Captain Edward Teach of Bristol. Captain Charles Johnson published an account of Blackbeard, A General History of the Pirates, in 1724. Another possible cause for the confusion between Bluebeard and Blackbeard is the fact that Teach had multiple marriages: he married his fourteenth bride, believed to be Mary Ormond, a sixteen-year-old planter’s daughter. Robert Lee also wrote a biography of Blackbeard, claiming that he was a victim of the women he could not resist. In addition to his wives, Blackbeard and other pirates are believed to have hidden treasure, making their stories conducive to intertextual connection with Bluebeard, who did not want his wife to examine his affairs too closely. This chapter examines Bluebeard’s connection to pirates and looks at a number of serial killers who were labeled in the contemporary media as “Bluebeard” or “lady Bluebeard.”

Keywords:   pirates, Bluebeard, Charles Perrault, piracy, Blackbeard, Edward Teach, Charles Johnson, Robert Lee, serial killers

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