Bluebeard first appeared in the fairy tale canon in 1697, written by French author Charles Perrault, detailing the story of a man with a dreadful blue beard whose wives mysteriously disappear. 324 years later, Bluebeard has been an opera, inspired countless movies, stories, songs and performances, and is now even a verb: to Bluebeard is to seduce and then reject; to leave wasted and empty.
“Well,” you’d say, “I would never marry him. I would never wander his opulent halls, opening doors that weren’t for me. I would know better.”
Something has seduced you, hypnotized you, fooled you and left you for ruin. What is it? Does it love you back? Or has it forgotten you, limp and swaying, in a locked room? Did you choose it? Do you choose it, still?
(Illustration to ‘Bluebeard’s Picture Book’, 1899, Walter Crane)