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Bluebeard   /blˈubˌɪrd/   Listen
Bluebeard

noun
1.
(fairytale) a monstrous villain who marries seven women; he kills the first six for disobedience.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Bluebeard" Quotes from Famous Books



... clergyman was a priest who belonged to a sacerdotal caste, and who ought not "to merge himself in the body of the nation." To him the Reformation was an infamous crime, and Henry VIII. was worse than the Bluebeard of the nursery. His hero was Thomas a Becket. He wrote a sketch of his life and career, which he did not live to finish. His friends ill-advisedly published it after his death. His ideal ecclesiastical statesman of modern ...
— The Reign of Henry the Eighth, Volume 1 (of 3) • James Anthony Froude

... by Arthur's study I looked in, and saw his bunch of keys hanging in the drawer of his desk, where he'd forgotten 'em. Well, I guess we're all to the Mrs. Bluebeard now and then, ain't we, Lynn? I made up my mind I'd have a look at that memento he kept so secret. Not that I cared what it was—it was ...
— The Voice of the City • O. Henry

... going out, or there was something to be hidden in those dark mahogany presses. Is there an inner apartment that I have not seen? The way in which the house is built might admit of it. As I thought it over, I at once imagined a Bluebeard's chamber. Suppose, for instance, that the narrow bookshelves to the right are really only a masked door, such as we remember leading to the private study of one of our most distinguished townsmen, who loved to steal ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... those of the Williams sisters revealed the Bluebeard-like character of this latterday castle of Mr. Holmes. In 1887 a man of the name of Connor entered Holmes' employment. He brought with him to the castle a handsome, intelligent wife and a little girl of eight or ...
— A Book of Remarkable Criminals • H. B. Irving

... after the fatal accident which deprived her of her husband, Mrs. Bluebeard was, as may be imagined, in a state of ...
— Stories of Comedy • Various

... you will. Curiosity will bring you. Remember this will be your last chance of seeing the Bluebeard ...
— Vixen, Volume III. • M. E. Braddon

... Captain Murderer, but I do not care for the responsibility of laying it before you. The Captain may be held to be forbidding enough, but he is, all the same, well within the nursery's traditions of acceptable villainy, being only a variant upon Bluebeard and the giant who fed upon bread made with the bone-flour of Englishmen; whereas the story of Chips introduces infernal elements and makes rats too horrible to be thought about. So I feel; but if anyone complains of the grimness of the Captain I shall have, ...
— Forgotten Tales of Long Ago • E. V. Lucas

... disgust) took refuge in a lie—and, worse still, a clumsy lie. He declared that he had got his nick-name in the nursery, at the time of Lucilla's absence in London, by one day painting his face in the character of Bluebeard to amuse the children! If Lucilla had felt the faintest suspicion of the truth, blind as she was, she must now have discovered it. As things were, Oscar annoyed and irritated her. I could see that it cost her a struggle to suppress something like a feeling of contempt ...
— Poor Miss Finch • Wilkie Collins

... be supposed that children do not read Prefaces; these are Bluebeard's rooms, which they are not curious to unlock. A few words may therefore be said about the Romances contained in this book. In the editor's opinion, romances are only fairy tales grown up. The whole mass of the plot and incident of romance was invented ...
— The Book of Romance • Various

... "At your Bluebeard's chamber again, Kate?" she cried, in mock reproval. Then she raised a warning finger. "One of these days—mind, one of these days, I surely will have a duplicate key made and get a peek into that drawer, which you never open in my presence. I believe you're carrying on an intrigue with ...
— The Law-Breakers • Ridgwell Cullum

... have been overruled for good by that Providence which takes the wise in their own craftiness, the revolution of 1688, in itself considered, affords just as little cause for self-congratulation on the part of Protestants as the substitution of the supremacy of the crowned Bluebeard, Henry VIII., for that of the Pope, in the English Church. It had little in common with the revolution of 1642. The field of its action was the closet of selfish intrigue,—the stalls of discontented prelates,—the chambers of the wanton and adulteress,—the confessional of a weak prince, whose ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... and Starr also, were charmed with everything, especially the dark, secretive loft, as full of suspended fishing nets as Bluebeard's closet was of wives. They had never seen such a distracting place as Marken, or such kind and pretty people. It was nearly an hour before it occurred to them that they had better say good-by, and by that time they knew the whole ...
— The Chauffeur and the Chaperon • C. N. Williamson

... like rats. The stage was almost empty. After the live street, it was a pallid light, in which ghosts moved. The New Zealanders, it need not be said, no longer fancied themselves in the cavern of Bluebeard or Puss-in-Boots; they had seen too many stages during the past two years. The slant of the floor, the roughness or smoothness of the boards was what interested them, for fear of falls and barked shins. Pa hurried them ...
— The Bill-Toppers • Andre Castaigne

... and wife; wedded pair, Darby and Joan; spiritual wife. monogamy, bigamy, digamy^, deuterogamy^, trigamy^, polygamy; mormonism; levirate^; spiritual wifery^, spiritual wifeism^; polyandrism^; Turk, bluebeard^. unlawful marriage, left-handed marriage, morganatic marriage, ill- assorted marriage; mesalliance; mariage de convenance [Fr.]. marriage broker; matrimonial agency, matrimonial agent, matrimonial bureau, matchmaker; schatchen ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... buccaneer authorship. Even in the town of Charlotte Amalia, the capital of St. Thomas, the stamp of the pirate is strong, for two of the hills above the city are marked by the ruins of old stone buildings, one of which is called "Bluebeard's Castle," and "Blackbeard's Castle," the other. It was once, no doubt, one of the many ports of call of that Nero of pirates, ...
— Plotting in Pirate Seas • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... ever saw Anne of Cleves at all, and we suspect him here of being no more than a slavish echo of the common voice, which attributed Cromwell's downfall to the ugliness of this bride he procured for his Bluebeard master. To the common voice from the brush of Holbein, which permits us to form our own opinions and shows us a lady who is certainly very far from deserving his lordship's harsh stricture. Similarly, I like to believe that Lord Henry was wrong in his pronouncement ...
— The Sea-Hawk • Raphael Sabatini

... fiction. Yet those ill-used but patient princesses are but little known to the thousands of story-readers who are familiar with the adventures of Cinderella and the Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, and the wives of Bluebeard and of the Beast. They have at various times entered into literature, but not into that section of it which has supplied our nursery fiction. They figure in most of the now so numerous collections of folk-tales, but they have not been introduced into society by the novelists or ...
— Indian Fairy Tales • Anonymous

... hundred thousand flowers; of the bridges and shining fountains and rivers wherein the castle windows reflect their festive gleams, when the halls are filled with happy feasters, and over the darkling woods comes the sound of music;—always, I say, when I think of Castle Bluebeard:—it is to think of that dark little closet, which I know is there, and which the lordly owner opens shuddering—after midnight—when he is sleepless and must go unlock it, when the palace is hushed, ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... dropped dead; and, to make believe that he had been as wide awake as a weasel from the very start, began asking such a string of questions as seemed likely to have no end. After a droll jumbling of Washington with Jack the Giant-killer, old Lord Fairfax with Bluebeard, poor old Hobby, the wooden-legged schoolmaster, with the Roving Red Robber, he at last so far got the better of his sleepy senses as to know what he would be driving at; when he said, "Uncle Juvinell, did his father ...
— The Farmer Boy, and How He Became Commander-In-Chief • Morrison Heady

... their fronts torn off. The rooms within were like stage-settings for some tragic play. Sheets and blankets trailed from beds where sleepers had waked in fright. Doors of wardrobes gaped to show dresses dangling forlornly, like Bluebeard's murdered brides. Dinner-tables were set out for meals never to be finished, save by rats. Family portraits of comfortable old faces smiling under broken glass hung awry on pink or blue papered walls. Half-made shirts and petticoats were still caught by the needle in broken sewing-machines. ...
— Everyman's Land • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... Goldsmith was tossed and gored just like another. "But, sir," he had ventured to say, in opposition to Johnson, "when people live together who have something as to which they disagree, and which they want to shun, they will be in the situation mentioned in the story of Bluebeard, 'You may look into all the chambers but one.' But we should have the greatest inclination to look into that chamber, to talk of that subject." Here, according to Boswell, Johnson answered in a loud voice, "Sir, I am not saying that you could live in friendship with a man from whom you differ ...
— Goldsmith - English Men of Letters Series • William Black

... seem to me positively sacrilegious. I wonder the arms of the men who ventured upon such sacred ground did not wither at their sides. To paint old men with tremendous white flowing beards—a cross between Santa Claus and Bluebeard—and call them God! Here is materialism for you with a vengeance. These audacious men forgot that He was not seen in the whirlwind, neither in the storm, but never seen at all; only heard ...
— Round the World • Andrew Carnegie

... sometimes hourly, occurrence,—a bell, the rope of which descended into the hall, brought the whole of the turnkeys to their assistance. A narrow passage at the north of the Stone Hall led to the Bluebeard's room of this enchanted castle, a place shunned even by the reckless crew who were compelled to pass it. It was a sort of cooking-room, with an immense fire-place flanked by a couple of cauldrons, and was called Jack Ketch's Kitchen, because the ...
— Jack Sheppard - A Romance • William Harrison Ainsworth

... the wife of the Parisian "Bluebeard," has been granted a divorce. We gather that there is something or other about her husband which ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, May 12, 1920 • Various

... reproof valiant—the countercheck quarrelsome—the lie circumstantial and the lie direct—are of immeasurably greater interest in the House of Commons than the health, the taxation, and the education, of a whole people. I will not penetrate into the mysteries of that secret chamber in which the Bluebeard of Party keeps his strangled public questions, and with regard to which, when he gives the key to his wife, the new comer, he strictly charges her on no account to open the door. I will merely put it to the experience of everybody ...
— Speeches: Literary and Social • Charles Dickens

... sailor prior to the war? It seemed to her if that had been the case he would have enlisted in the Navy. He talked like a man who had spent many years on the water; but in labour or in pleasure, he made it most difficult for her to tell. Of his people, of his past, not Bluebeard's closet was more firmly shut. Still with a little smile she recalled that eventually a woman had opened that closet door, and hadn't had her ...
— The Pagan Madonna • Harold MacGrath

... He told me that his astral colors were red and blue, and that a phrenologist had told him that a bump on the back of his head indicated that he ought never to buy mining stock. With the same instinct that undid Bluebeard's and Lot's wives he had tried it, and is once more back at his job of gardening with ...
— The Smiling Hill-Top - And Other California Sketches • Julia M. Sloane

... linked forever to the dwarf Perrywinkle; there was my friend Porphyro, the poet, with his delicate genius shrivelled in the glare of the youngest Miss Lucifer's eyes; there they were, Beauty and the Beast, Pride and Humility, Bluebeard and Fatima, Prose and Poetry, Riches and Poverty, Youth and Crabbed Age— Oh, sorrowful procession! All so wretched, when perhaps all might have been so happy if they had only paired differently! I halted a moment to let the weird shapes drift by. As the last of ...
— A Midnight Fantasy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... that's wrong," replied Helen. "No superman ever said 'I want,' because 'I want' must lead to the question, 'Who am I?' and so to Pity and to Justice. He only says 'want.' 'Want Europe,' if he's Napoleon; 'want wives,' if he's Bluebeard; 'want Botticelli,' if he's Pierpont Morgan. Never the 'I'; and if you could pierce through him, you'd find panic and ...
— Howards End • E. M. Forster

... and tongs. I may say that we were all fairly intimate friends, and thus had the advantage of entire liberty of speech. I looked daggers at the husband; he looked daggers at me, and occasionally looking at his wife, gave her a glance which was like the opening of Bluebeard's closet. You could see the poor murdered bodies dangling within the shadowy cupboard of his eye. Of course we got no further. Additional opposition but further enraged him. He recapitulated what he would no doubt call his arguments,—they sounded more like threats,—and as he spoke I saw ...
— The Quest of the Golden Girl • Richard le Gallienne

... by this time, the child's air of mystery and reserve had suggested a closet like that of Bluebeard, a chamber of torture, or, at least, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 80, June, 1864 • Various

... distinct hook for each and every one of my most obscure garments. I tried to spread them out. I used two hooks to every petticoat, and three for my kimono, and when I had finished there were rows of hooks to spare. Tiers of shelves yawned for hat-boxes which I possessed not. Bluebeard's wives could have held a family reunion in that closet and invited all of Solomon's spouses. Finally, in desperation, I gathered all my poor garments together and hung them in a sociable bunch on the hooks nearest the door. How I should ...
— Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed • Edna Ferber

... suffered a fright which had made his heart miss a beat or two and had set his brain swirling with a fevered vision of all future happiness wrecked on a shoal of damnable folly. When he had presented his wife with the keys of his house he had not laid upon her any Bluebeard injunction that one door she must never open. Bluebeard lived in a more rudimentary age, and his needs included a secret chamber. The things which Eben Tollman earnestly desired to conceal from his wife's view could be adequately stored in ...
— The Tyranny of Weakness • Charles Neville Buck

... those who hold that the South African mine-owner is not a man at all, but a kind of pantomime demon. You take Goliath, the whale that swallowed Jonah, a selection from the least respectable citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah at their worst, Bluebeard, Bloody Queen Mary, Guy Fawkes, and the sea-serpent—or, rather, you take the most objectionable attributes of all these various personages, and mix them up together. The result is the South African mine-owner, a monster who would willingly promote ...
— Idle Ideas in 1905 • Jerome K. Jerome

... blames her not, nor does he chide her, And she has nothing new to say; If he were Bluebeard he could hide her, But that's not written in the play, And there will be no change to-day; Although, to the serene outsider, There still would seem to ...
— The Man Against the Sky • Edwin Arlington Robinson

... demons, and witches mingle grotesquely with the throng of beautiful princesses, queens in glittering raiment, fairies and elves. Without these ugly figures, folk-tales would soon lose their power to charm. All tale tellers know that fear is a potent spell. The curiosity which drove Bluebeard's wife to explore the hidden chamber lures us on to know the worst, and as we listen to horrid stories, we snatch a fearful joy. Human nature desires not only to be amused and entertained, but moved to pity and fear. All can sympathise with the youth, who could not shudder and who ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... with in the Greek theater. His second situation, which we may call 'To Rescue from Imminent Danger,' has been widely popular alike with the ancients and the moderns, so we have in subdivision (A) a condemned person rescued by a hero, as in the myth of Andromeda, the folk-tale of Bluebeard, and the first act of 'Lohengrin'; and in subdivision (B2) a condemned person rescued by a guest of the house, as ...
— Inquiries and Opinions • Brander Matthews

... bewildered for a moment, and Tom enjoyed that moment keenly; but in the next she laughed, clapped her hands together, and said, "O Tom, you've made yourself like Bluebeard ...
— Tom and Maggie Tulliver • Anonymous

... are again, the old, old stories, the very best; dear Cinderella, wicked old Bluebeard, tiny Thumbling, beautiful Beauty and the ugly Beast, and a host of others. But the old stories, I may tell you, are always new, and always must be so, because there are new children to read them every day, and to these, of course, these old tales ...
— My Book of Favorite Fairy Tales • Edric Vredenburg

... Sister Ann of Bluebeard fame, gazed anxiously around and listened with all the intensity born of her desperate state; but there was nothing to be seen or heard. Only Bruin had risen again and was coming slowly towards the hut. A bright ...
— The Rising of the Red Man - A Romance of the Louis Riel Rebellion • John Mackie

... childhood I classed the name of Mauprat with those of Cartouche and Bluebeard; and in the course of horrible dreams I often used to mix up the ancient legends of the Ogre and the Bogey with the quite recent events which in our province had given such a sinister ...
— Mauprat • George Sand

... myself of the Red Room—for I had a great love for it. But I had got no further than the steps when Mrs. Montressor came sweeping down the hall in haste and, catching me by the arm, pulled me back as roughly as if it had been Bluebeard's chamber itself into which ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... order to be worshipped as such? Let us admire the diversity of the tastes of mankind; and the oldest, the ugliest, the stupidest and most pompous, the silliest and most vapid, the greatest criminal, tyrant booby, Bluebeard, Catherine Hayes, George Barnwell, amongst us, we need never despair. I have read of the passion of a transported pickpocket for a female convict (each of them advanced in age, being repulsive in person, ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... under the spare-room bed—a pilgrimage around the cellar with a flaring candle—furtive explorations of the storeroom. And when we came to a door that was locked—Aha! Here was a puzzle and a problem! We tried every key in the house, right side up and upside down. Bluebeard's wife, poor creature,—if I read the tale aright,—was merely seeking her Christmas presents around the house ...
— Chimney-Pot Papers • Charles S. Brooks

... nothing more to say upon the subject—I have said you were to go. You act as if I were sending you to some place where you might catch the scarlet fever or the mumps. You amuse me; upon my word you do. Rex is not dangerous, neither is he a Bluebeard; his only fault is being alarmingly handsome. The best advice I can give you is, don't admire him too much. He should be ...
— Daisy Brooks - A Perilous Love • Laura Jean Libbey

... the discussion and determining of the "big cut," and the function became as exclusive and esoteric as a Masonic initiation. From that day to this it has, with few exceptions, been held januis clausis; and beside it the Literary Ladies' Dinner and Bluebeard's Chamber are as open to the world and free from mystery as ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... Mister Bluebeard, I'm sorry to cause him pain; But a terrible spree there's sure to be When he ...
— This is "Part II" of Soldiers Three, we don't have "Part I" • Rudyard Kipling

... gulp or two and several moues behind his back, she accepted him. A brilliant marriage ceremony followed, conducted by a Bishop and an Archdeacon. And then Arbella was carried off to live in a Bluebeard's Castle he possessed ...
— Mrs. Warren's Daughter - A Story of the Woman's Movement • Sir Harry Johnston

... peril, if not actually consumed. Now was not this characteristic?—the ruling passions of Pope are nothing to it. Whilst the poor distracted manager was bewailing the loss of a building only worth 300,000 l., together with some twenty thousand pounds of rags and tinsel in the tiring rooms, Bluebeard's elephants, and all that—in comes a note from a scorching author, requiring at his hands two acts and ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. I. (of VI.) - With his Letters and Journals. • Thomas Moore

... hands of a person who has the torturing instinct, I can only solemnly pronounce the words that justice utters over its doomed victims, "The Lord have mercy on your soul!"' There, it is true, the key in question unlocks the delicate instrument of the nervous system, and not necessarily a Bluebeard's chamber of guilt; but where the latter is also the case to some extent the remark by no means loses in significance, and if any man had the torturing instinct to perfection, Caffyn might be said to ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... The case of assault and battery, a thing of the far past, would probably develop into a fable of manslaughter, of murder; his wife's death was already regarded very much in that light, and would class him with Bluebeard; his house on the Heath would assume a forbidding aspect, and dread whispers would be exchanged of what went on there under the shadow of night. Was it not already beginning to be remarked by his neighbours ...
— A Life's Morning • George Gissing

... not talk in this frivolous strain, monsieur. There is serious business to be considered, and I assure you I looked forward to your coming, monsieur, with the eagerness of Sister Anne in the tower of Bluebeard.' ...
— The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont • Robert Barr



Words linked to "Bluebeard" :   fairytale, fairy story, fictitious character, fictional character, fairy tale, character



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