Secrets of Bluebeard

The great and terrible story of life, became the prototype of the hero of the worst and "unchildlike" tales of world literature


Gilles de Montmorency-Laval, Baron de Rais forever entered the history as Bluebeard



"Puss in Boots," "Little Red Riding Hood", "boy-in-law," "Sleeping Beauty" — these stories adults tell children at an early age, children are now increasingly looking cartoons and shows based on fairy tales by Charles Perrault.
But "Blue Beard" … Few adults decide to tell the kids this terrible tale. For example, I read it myself when I learned to read. Perhaps no less a shock I received from the engraved illustrations by Gustave Dore. And what a relief I felt when the young wife of Bluebeard was saved, and the villain of the brothers came to the rescue stabbed swords beauties!
The impact of fairy tales on the listener, reader, viewer truly magical — we are the first words take for granted the miraculous, the most incredible thing. Questions and doubts arise later, when we are no longer children, to wonder why, in fact, this noble and wealthy nobleman killing their wives? What is the body of the unfortunate victims hung in the secret room? Finally, why is it blue beard? And who came up with this horrible story — Charles Perrault? Or he based his folk tale? Maybe a villain living in reality?

The hero of the Hundred Years' War
In the French province of Brittany and tour today show Tiffozh castle ruins and the guides pronounced in a stage whisper:
— Here lived the famous Gilles de Rais, known as Bluebeard!
Show and a place among the ruins, where supposedly there was a room where Bluebeard committed murder and kept the bodies of their victims.
Completely he was called as follows: Gilles de Montmorency-Laval, Baron de Rais. It also occurs in writing "Retz", but it does not name, and the name of his possessions — a vast area of Retz, and in this case more likely to use the option "Senor de Retz."
Anyway, Gilles de Rais was famous long before he had received the nickname Bluebeard. He came from a very noble Breton family, among his ancestors were famous generals and courtiers. Gilles parents died early, he was brought up by his grandfather, the old man had taught his grandson not only martial art, but it has brought a desire for knowledge, instilled a love of books, which was rare in the Knight environment. Later Baron de Rais collected a rich library in which there are rare books and manuscripts.
At the time, got married early. Grandfather began to look for a bride to her grandson when the latter was barely sixteen years old. It is known that several young brides Gilles died before the wedding. Finally grandfather chose Catherine de Tours — a neighbor and also the groom's cousin. The Church forbade marriages between relatives, so the grandfather and grandson kidnapped bride (probably in collusion with her parents), and were married. Later, Gilles de Rais received forgiveness from the pope and the church permission to marry. Wedding took place for the second time, and the young baron took over a rich dowry, which included extensive lands and castles.
In this marriage was born the only child — a daughter, Mary. It was conceived between the campaigns — lasted Hundred Years War. The young baron and his party took the side of the Dauphin Charles (later King Charles VII) against the British. I must say, at the time Karl was declared a bastard — illegitimate, deprived of the right to the throne, his chances for the crown were considered remote. Therefore, the choice of Gilles de Rais was courageous enough. But then providence intervened in the person of the famous Joan of Arc.
Sixth March 1429 at Chinon, where the court then Dauphin, Gilles de Rais was introduced to this legendary maiden. Since then, he became its military advisor and the most influential militia commander. Joan successes — the siege of Orleans and the other victories — were largely provided able leadership of Baron de Ré. Already at that time it was called the Marshal of France, though the title was bestowed only after the coronation of Charles VII in Reims. Together with the marshal's baton he received the right to put on his coat of arms of the royal lilies, "given the high and worthy achievements, difficulties and danger," as stated in the ordinance.
Since the entry of Charles to the throne "high and worthy services" were soon forgotten, people such as Joan of Arc and Gilles de Rais, the powers that are necessary in a time of ordeal, and then … Kings do not like to be obligated to anyone. Maid of Orleans left without help in enemy captivity, and Marshal de Rais gradually pushed more people in the court.

In a big way
In the next ten years, few have seen the Baron outside his domain. But in their own backyards, he led the life of a truly royal. His guards numbered two hundred knights, he was always accompanied by a retinue — Pazhi, musicians, prelates, servants — another fifty people. When he went to the temple, in front of him drove the body where the organist was playing a solemn march. Churches in his dominions were decorated with incredible splendor. To satisfy his ambition, he paid the staging of "The Mysteries of the siege of Orleans," in which he was placed as one of the main characters.
Perhaps this immoderate luxury Gilles de Rais tried as if to compensate for their retirement. In the end, the huge costs of Baron forced to sell some of their possessions. Several castles with parkland got Duke of Brittany, Jean V and his grandees. Seeing as floats in the wrong hands Heirloom good family baron, especially his younger brother, Rene, have an injunction on further sales.
Baron could not limit myself in anything, he was desperate for money. Besides his highborn buyers are not fully paid for the acquired land. Then Gilles de Rais turned to alchemists. No wonder, in those days, alchemy was a respectable science that promises power and gold, alchemists and scientists often wore robes of priests.
So, Gilles de Rais invited alchemists equipped laboratory on the first floor of the castle Tiffozh. Were procured the necessary ingredients, including mercury, arsenic, and shark teeth. In retort boiled fetid fluid, crucibles gurgled different alloys. But as long as the output is not gold, but mere embers … So a few years, and then a monk Francois Baron Prelati began assuring that without the help of supernatural forces is necessary. He said he could call the demon named Barron. This daemon commands world of the dead, so it can provide all the secret knowledge. So Baron de Rais stepped shaky line that separates science from what was then forbidden magic and sorcery.

Of the characters — the villains in
On the day of the Holy Trinity in 1440, Bishop of Nantes, Monsignor Jean de Malestrua led solemn mass in the cathedral. After the service he went to preach to the congregation. First, he denounced all human vices, but suddenly hit the concrete sinner — Gilles de Rais.
— We got to our first rumors, then complaints and decent and humble people of this testimony, we learned that the noble man, Messire Gilles de Rais, chevalier, seigneur of the area and the Baron, our subject, along with several accomplices strangled and horribly killed many innocent young boys, he devoted himself with lust and sin of sodomy, often called demons, sacrifice to them and concluded treaties with them and committed other heinous crimes …
Those present were shocked speech bishop, no one could remember such a terrible accusation. But the head of the Diocese of spoken, and even within the walls of the church, they bought especially convincing. In the next few days in the office of the bishop and the court has asked about a dozen parents who have lost children. Their disappearance was unanimously associated with monster Gilles de Rais.
The investigation was conducted by two courts: the secular and the Inquisition. Summoned to explain Gilles de Rais said:
— I do not intend to answer the robbers and blasphemers! Better hang me at once, without your corrupt court!
It detained and threatened with excommunication. Immediately grabbed many of his close and servants. At the same time there were new allegations of abductions and murders of children. Gilles de Rais realized that it takes a dangerous turn for him. He apologized to the judge and asked him not to excommunicate him from the church. When a person of that era melted hope to justify to human trial, it remained only a belief in the supreme justice and boundless mercy of God, so it was important to stay in the Church of Christ. Gilles de Rais confessed to reading books on alchemy and manufacture alchemical experiments. Everything else he denied himself and asked the court to test the truth of his words with a hot iron.
However, the judges decided that the red-hot iron — it's too easy to test for such a villain, and appointed the present torture. When Baron led to a torture chamber and he saw all the terrible instruments, a brave knight first broke. He was shown the first phase — the "ladder" in which it will stretch the legs and hands. Baron then fell to his knees and begged the judges to cancel torture, promising confession.
Persevere no sense. After Baron accomplices have been tortured, and they tell of his master is! .. Therefore, Gilles de Rais admitted on all items as stated in the report, "freely, without the threat of torture, with tears of remorse in his eyes." Still, he was tortured, stretched on the "ladder", after which the defendant confessed and that, as he was not asked. Forty-nine of the charges are briefly recapitulated below: a few years Gilles de Rais kidnapped hundreds of children, mostly boys, raped and tortured them, then killed and sacrificed to demons and the devil himself dead bodies. Of course, in the investigation of his crimes were described in great detail, scenes of sexual perversion and sadistic torture are present textbook for maniacs and pedophiles.
In late October, the Inquisition sentenced Gilles de Rais to excommunication from the church, and secular court — to be burned at the stake. Together with the owner have been sentenced to a penalty two closest assistants. Before his death, Baron repented and made peace with the church, as a special favor pre executioner strangled him Garrote, and his body was pulled out of the fire is almost intact and transferred to relatives for a Christian burial.

From Cursed to Grozny
So, Gilles de Rais made history not as a hero but as a supervillain. His name became identified with various legends and fairy-tale characters. For example, has long been in Brittany told a legend of Bluebeard.
"We drove past the Earl and Countess of beautiful castle. Came out of the castle knight with a red beard. "I Gilles de Rais, the owner of this place," — he said, and invited the travelers to the castle for lunch. But when the dinner, the host ordered his servants to seize the graph and drop it in the "stone bag". Gilles de Rais invited Countess forget her husband and marry him. "Promise me body and soul" — demanded the Countess. As soon as Gilles de Rais said this oath, the beauty turned into a blue devil. "Now you are in my power" — laughed the devil, and the red beard of Gilles de Rais was blue. Since then, it was called Bluebeard. "
Surely, this legend has been known since the early Middle Ages, but the main character has found a name — Gilles de Rais — after the famous trial.
Charles Perrault's fairy tales appeared in two and a half centuries. Readers will have identified the hero of the tale "Bluebeard" Gilles de Rais. True, the fairy tale character tortured and killed their wives, not children. So what? Villain — he is the villain … Maybe people remembered as brides baron, dying one after the other before the wedding. So were "Chained Together," the hero of ancient legends, the real Gilles de Rais and fantastic character Bluebeard.
However, there are other possible prototypes Bluebeard.
On both sides of the Channel, the French Brittany and Wales and in the UK Cornwall, there were legends of ill Comore (in other sources — Konomor Damned). Legend has it that it is the king, the graph. Comoros did not recognize religious marriages, and their wives, concubines killed as soon as they became pregnant. Admire him Trifinio, eldest daughter of the Earl Geroka. Long denied ill father Comore. Finally persuaded, that Trifinio able to return to the fold, as you like. All went well until Trifinio not realized she was pregnant. Early in the morning, while her husband was asleep, she got out of the castle, and ran to the house. Comore but woke up and gave chase. Woman, in tears, begged for mercy, but the count seized her by the hair and with one blow off her head. Father Trifinio made supplication to the saint Gildas, he put his severed head to the body, and the woman came to life. Holy Komora went to the castle, threw in a handful of dust killer, and the knight fell dead. A Trifinio safely gave birth, she later went to the monastery.
Generally speaking, the "blue beard" were carried out in the recent past: the prototype is not the English king Henry VIII, ruined six of his eight wives (by the way, in the fairy tale "Bluebeard" is a villain killed six of his wives, young heroine was to be the seventh ). Not far behind our British colleagues Ivan the Terrible: eight wives and concubines, five died, three disappeared in the monasteries.
Perhaps the legend of Comore and Breton legend of Bluebeard were the basis for the tale by Charles Perrault. The researchers argue that there was also a French folk tale on this subject, but the text it has not reached us. Preserved English folk tale, much like a fairy tale by Charles Perrault. Perhaps the French version was recorded in the treasured notebook Perrault. (But not to Perrault, which you might think. Speech about the notebook in front.)

Bluebeard whitewash
We return to Gilles de Rais, rather, to his posthumous fame. For three hundred years, he remained the first and most famous serial killers, with a blue beard stuck firmly to it, no one can tear. He has frequently been the hero of novels, plays, poems, poems, operas and operettas, movies and cartoons. One of the first movie was "Bluebeard" by Georges Méliès (1901).
After the publication of all the circumstances, any reasonable doubt of the guilt and the fairness of the trial of Gilles de Rais.
Looked strange thing is that the first bishop of Nantes were rebuking kind synopsis of future judicial prosecution. Suspicion of bias of the case to find new confirmation. It turns out, shortly before the first allegations Gilles de Rais with his army occupied the castle of Saint-Etienne-de-Mer-Morte. This castle until recently belonged to the Baron, but was sold Messer Geffroy Le Ferron, treasurer of the Duke of Brittany. Time passed, Le Ferron money is not paid, despite repeated reminders. Then Gilles de Rais regained the castle by force. Le Ferron Duke complained, the response was immediate: the former owner squad knocked out of the castle, and Gilles de Rais had imposed a heavy fine of fifty thousand gold crowns. Baron thought all this monstrous injustice, was not going to pay the fine, took refuge in the castle Tiffozh (dowry of his wife, by the way), where no one could touch, because the castle was under the jurisdiction of the king, rather than local authorities.
Relations between Baron and Duke were not easy. Who would like such an independent vassal — crowned with glory, whose lands are not inferior, and revenues far exceed ducal? Jean V sought to expand their holdings by baronial estates. His attack on the castle lords Duke Gilles de Rais is permanently obedience. (I'll tell you that Jean V before the end of the process seized possession of Gilles de Rais in favor of his son. Relatives of Gilles de Rais said the baron was mad, it preserves ancestral possession, but the Duke — and it was he who led the secular court — rejected the request of relatives.)
At Monsignor Jean de Malestrua, Bishop of Nantes, had their scores with Gilles de Rais. Baron contains a staff of priests, they were fed from his hand, and he was himself a bishop. Moreover, studies in alchemy but not punishable by law, but were not approved church. Therefore Bishop willingly joined the conspiracy against Gilles de Rais.
But that he show? The really strong accusations were not. You should have something to shake imagination Bretons excite general hatred of the Baron. Serious charge allows the use of torture, and only under torture dead unconscious.
Another accident prompted Bishop solution: the most recently captured old witch Perrine Martin, who is accused of kidnapping, including children. But what if we imagine it as an accomplice wicked baron? Moreover, in the office of bishop had accumulated a number of statements about the missing children of citizens — and it was a string bass.
But most importantly — have found no evidence — no bodies, no remains, no hair, no strings. Nothing! All replaced confessions extracted under torture. (I specifically consulted a specialist on medieval tortures and executions, the director of the "Museum of history of corporal punishment" Valery Pereverzeva: could, in principle, subject to withstand torture, not to confess? Answer was absolutely not. Exception is, as they say, clinical cases: pathological insensitivity to pain, for example.)
Reading the "confessions" of Gilles de Rais, one can not but shudder, as if someone wrote, the author was certainly a hidden or explicit maniac pedophile!
… Twenty years ago, a famous Parisian lawyer Jean-Yves Go-Brizoner gathered a group of historians, lawyers and other experts who doubt the guilt of Gilles de Rais. This tribunal was sitting in the hall of UNESCO, and then in the Luxembourg Palace. Experts verdict: Gilles de Rais was innocent, the case against him was fabricated. However, the validity of this rehabilitation has not, and very few people know about it. Terrible tale of a villain Gilles de Rais, known as Bluebeard is repeated by various authors, again and again …

Neskazki Charles Perrault
Why did Bluebeard kill their wives?
This story rests on a more ancient myths and legends: the gods and earthly lords killed their pregnant wives, fearing future enemies in the face of grown sons. So did Comore (Konomor Damned), which has already been mentioned. Such savage barbarism remained in antiquity. And the plot of "killing women" is preserved, and Charles Perrault, he went without root causes and logical explanation.
Perhaps the author, as well as we thought about the causes of these strange murders. And, having found no external cause, carried her into a killer. Blue Beard himself is the reason of his crime — a consequence of the perversity of his personality. Realizing this, Charles Perrault wrote the first literary thriller about a serial maniac.
He describes as Bluebeard first lures his victims slowly creeps like prolonging the pleasure. As the reader will recall, only the youngest of three sisters, agrees to marry Bluebeard, and he initially knows that his network will get exactly the youngest, most inexperienced and pure soul. And the more it triumph!
Then comes the devil's game. Externally it is a loving husband, regretting nothing for the young couple. When he left, he sends his wife all the keys, but does not allow to open a secret room. He puts her psychological trap: knows in advance that a young woman can resist the temptation to violate the ban. Then trap close, and now a maniac assures himself and all around: she's guilty, and I will repay! .. Maniacs — are masters turn the situation so as to represent criminals of their victims. But we understand that the wife of Bluebeard is doomed not because of disobeying her husband, but because he entered the secret geek, learned his true identity. That is why, in response to the pleas of his wife Barbe says strange phrase: "We must die, madam, and immediately." And later, in response to her crying already zanesya dagger: "This does not lead to anything, you need to die." Because maniac can not abandon his plans is tantamount to suicide. But he was proud of what he did! As cherished corpses previous victims! .. Perhaps he was a bloody room as Miserly Knight was a member of his treasury (blood and treasure — from the same root.)
The story of Bluebeard stands apart from tales by Charles Perrault. Because it is not a story at all. In particular, there are no miracles and magic. Except for one magical items — the key to a secret door, which appears indelible bloodstain. Modern psychologists-Freudians see in key phallic symbol, and in a spot of blood — the act of defloration. Well, then, they are Freudians, they own mother will not regret. In fact it is the oldest motive of many fairy tales: a warning from the violation of a taboo. In this case: do not go into forbidden places. The motif of the broken taboo occurs in other tales of Charles Perrault: not baluysya the spindle, ukoleshsya ("Sleeping Beauty"), not to speak to strangers, it is dangerous ("Little Red Riding Hood"). Motive indelible (indestructible) mark that reflects the commission of the offense or offenses, is also well known in mythology and folklore.
These motifs Charles Perrault skillfully wove into a coherent fabric of the narrative and sealed with an ominous sign of the Devil — blue beard.

Secrets fabulous notebooks
We know from childhood Perrault as a great storyteller. He himself, he appreciated their tales are not in the first place.
A native of Paris trading family, he has achieved a high position, he held senior positions in the government, was actually the closest assistant finance minister Colbert, repeatedly met with King Louis XIV, dedicated their works to him, such as stilted poem "The Age of Louis the Great."
Charles Perrault was one of the founders of the French Academy, he was elected one of the "immortals", he did many years presided over the Academy.
Charles married rather late, his wife died six years later, leaving the care of her husband's three children — a girl and two boys. Despite being very busy, the father gave the children a lot of the time, used to tell them stories.
The first tales of Charles Perrault wrote already in the elderly, they are poetic — "Griselda> a," "Donkey skin" and "Funny desire." In 1695 they were published in the book "Tales of Mother Goose."
Meanwhile, his son, seventeen-Pierre Perreault, carefully wrote down in a notebook he had heard folk tales and fables. Father often looked at this book. Tales were lovely, especially the story of Sleeping Beauty, about a girl and a wolf, the boy-crumbs, a cat in boots, the ugly duckling and fairy of ill Knight with blue beard. But the trouble — the son did not owned a pen, could not disclose the material and present it to readers and listeners.
But one day, my father learned how to use this fabulous material in favor of his son. At Versailles already grows favorite niece of King Princess of Orleans, she picked retinue. What if Pierre Perrault will hand princess book of his stories? Experience the old courtier prompted: Pierre will include a suite of the princess and, of course, perhaps the nobility!
Almost a year worked on Charles Perrault fairy tales from a notebook son. Since the book was meant princess, were excluded from the text of vulgar expression, but includes descriptions of balls and high society life, to take at least a picture of celebration and entertainment in the castle of Bluebeard … Finally a book in a single copy was ready, transcribed on expensive paper, bound in red morocco . Work called "Tales of Mother Goose, or stories and tales of bygone days with the precepts." The book opens with a dedication to the young princess, signed by Pierre Perrault.
Father's plan is fully realized: Pierre presented the book princess, it was included in the suite, and was elevated to the noble rank. In addition, the king gave Pierre exclusive rights to publish the stories, presented by Princess. In 1697 he published the book "Stories or Tales of yore (Tales of my Mother Goose) and teachings."
It seemed that my father provided the future of his son.
But disaster struck Pierre sword stabbed his classmate and neighbor of William Kohl. As it happened, which is why — is unknown so far. We only know that Charles Perrault family Kohl paid two thousand livres, and that the criminal case was dismissed after only one and a half years.
With the court career son was over. Pierre's father bought the rank of lieutenant of the Royal Regiment of Dauphin, and the son went into the army. He fought bravely, always into the battle, as if looking for death. Not last a year, Pierre Perrault died in battle.
The strength and health of Charles Perrault was undermined. He did not write stories.
He followed suit came a galaxy of talented writers, completing the formation of the literary genre of fairy tales.
But no one has created anything better, such as "Bluebeard". ?

Sergey Makeev

Category: Mystery stories

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