[Bluebeard's wife pleads with her husband]. Walter Crane, RWS (1845-1915). 1898 ed., but originally published by Routledge in 1873. Engraved and printed in colour by Edmund Evans. Bluebeard, pp. 4 and 5. Bluebeard's wife had seen the slain bodies of her husband's past wives in the forbidden closet, and had fainted away, dropping the key which she had been forbidden to use. Try as she might, she had been unable to clean the blood from it, so her misdeed was discovered, and her husband passed sentence — of death. He looms large and cruel-looking in her little workroom, with its tapestry or embroidery frame, coloured thread hanging on the lower bar, and a Bible (or perhaps a pattern-book) open beside it on the window seat. His presence in such a scene of innocent feminine pursuits is overbearing and her pleas clearly fall on deaf ears. As Bluebeard pronounces sentence, a woman outside the room (we learn later that this is her sister) clutches (presumably) the couple's infant.

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Bluebeard's Picture Book. Reissue. London & New York: John Lane, the Bodley Head, 1898. Internet Archive version of a copy in the Smithsonian Libraries. Web. 8 June 2021.

Created 7 June 2021