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The Seven Wives Of Bluebeard 1920   By: (1844-1924)

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Anatole France's "The Seven Wives of Bluebeard" is a curious and captivating novel that delves into the mysterious and dark world of the infamous Bluebeard. Published in 1920, this book follows a series of tales that revolve around Bluebeard and his unfortunate wives.

France's storytelling ability shines throughout the book, as he skillfully weaves together elements of romance, suspense, and even horror. The narrative style employed by the author creates an aura of intrigue, successfully drawing readers into the tale right from the start. Each chapter presents a unique perspective, allowing readers to explore the depths of Bluebeard's twisted mind, as well as the experiences of his unsuspecting wives.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is France's exploration of the societal roles and expectations placed upon women during that era. The author expertly contrasts the varying personalities and dispositions of Bluebeard's wives, each a reflection of the different societal expectations they faced. Through their stories, France subtly critiques the patriarchal constraints imposed upon women, highlighting their struggle to navigate a world dominated by male authority.

"The Seven Wives of Bluebeard" also offers an intriguing examination of the nature of evil and the complexities of human psychology. As Bluebeard's true nature gradually unravels, readers are left questioning whether evil is an inherent trait or a product of one's experiences. The psychological depth given to the characters adds an extra layer of complexity to the narrative, elevating it beyond a simple fairy tale retelling.

Moreover, France's prose is a delight to read. The language employed throughout the novel is rich and descriptive, immersing readers in the world created by the author. The vivid descriptions of 19th-century France further add to the book's charm, allowing readers to feel as though they are walking the streets alongside the characters.

Although "The Seven Wives of Bluebeard" is undeniably a captivating and thought-provoking read, it may not be suitable for all audiences. The darker and sometimes disturbing themes explored within the book may be unsettling for some readers. Additionally, the intricate narrative structure may pose a challenge for those seeking a simpler, more straightforward story.

In conclusion, Anatole France's "The Seven Wives of Bluebeard" is a remarkable piece of fiction that delves into the depths of human nature and societal expectations. With its compelling characters, thought-provoking themes, and skillfully crafted prose, this novel offers a unique and unforgettable reading experience. Whether you are a fan of fairy tale retellings, psychological exploration, or simply enjoy well-crafted storytelling, this book is sure to captivate and leave a lasting impression.

First Page:


By Anatole France

Edited By James Lewis May And Bernard Miall

Translated by D. B. Stewart

John Lane Company MCMXX



THE strangest, the most varied, the most erroneous opinions have been expressed with regard to the famous individual commonly known as Bluebeard. None, perhaps, was less tenable than that which made of this gentleman a personification of the Sun. For this is what a certain school of comparative mythology set itself to do, some forty years ago. It informed the world that the seven wives of Bluebeard were the Dawns, and that his two brothers in law were the morning and the evening Twilight, identifying them with the Dioscuri, who delivered Helena when she was rapt away by Theseus. We must remind those readers who may feel tempted to believe this that in 1817 a learned librarian of Agen, Jean Baptiste Pérés, demonstrated, in a highly plausible manner, that Napoleon had never existed, and that the story of this supposed great captain was nothing but a solar myth. Despite the most ingenious diversions of the wits, we cannot possibly doubt that Bluebeard and Napoleon did both actually exist.

An hypothesis no better founded is that which Consists in identifying Bluebeard with the Marshal de Rais, who was strangled by the arm of the Law above the bridges of Nantes on 26th of October, 1440... Continue reading book >>

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