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Secrets beyond the Door: The Story of Bluebeard and His Wives Hardcover – October 25, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0691117072 ISBN-10: 0691117071

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691117071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691117072
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,053,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this fine book, which both scholars and ordinary readers enjoy, as I did, [Tatar] casts her net wide. She reprints several versions of 'Bluebeard,' and discusses not only these tales and their many variants, but also the reappearance of the story in fiction, film, opera, and poetry."--Alison Lurie, The American Scholar

"A respected critic of fairy tales, Tatar takes on Bluebeard and the result is a deeply resonant, fascinating study of intertextuality. . . . [S]he persuasively demonstrates how the Bluebeard tale shifts its shape century by century, revealing the secret anxieties of the age regarding sexuality, coming of age, romance, marriage, and marital discord."--Choice

"Secrets beyond the Door is full of transmutations and sublimations. Harvard professor Maria Tatar . . . returns with a scintillating account of what generations of high and low culture have done to the Bluebeard folktale."--John Leonard, Harper's

"A book that unlocks the reasons of transgression in the chambers of the mind."--Alex Moore, Foreword Magazine

From the Inside Flap

"Learned. Readable. Entertaining. This is a fascinating exploration of a story that in one sense never changes, but at the same time is always changing, illuminating shifting cultural attitudes about marriage, secrecy, enterprising women and withheld men. Tatar has produced a vivid kaleidoscope of curious women and the mistrust they arouse."--Nina Auerbach, University of Pennsylvania

"A brisk, often breezy survey of one of the foundational stories of modern culture and its sexual mythologies. Tatar's book traces the changing, but still robust, reputation of Bluebeard's wife from its first wide dissemination in fairy tale and folklore to its later reworkings in literature, film, opera and cultural criticism. Tatar herself has been indefatigably curious in collecting various versions of the tale and in sighting otherwise almost invisible references to Bluebeard and his wife in contemporary literature."--Maria DiBattista, Princeton University


More About the Author

Maria Tatar teaches folklore, children's literature, and German cultural studies at Harvard University. She chairs the Program in Folklore and Mythology. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel T. Keding on May 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maria Tatar once again gives us a book that opens the doors to the mysteries of the fairy tale. The book takes us from the origins of the story to movie treatment of this important fairy tale. Another great addition to her continuing study of our cultural literature.
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