In The Bride's Chamber

Harry Furniss


14.4 x 8.2 cm framed

Dickens's Christmas Books, The Uncommercial Traveller, and Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices, Vol. 8 of the Charles Dickens Library Edition, facing p. 1 in the third division of the book.

Again, as in "Captain Murderer" in the series of essays entitled The Uncommercial Traveller, Dickens reveals a morbid fascination (perhaps a species of self-obsession in this instance) with the figure of Blue Beard, derived from Perrault's 1697 tale of a brutal, domineering serial killer of young women. Although Furniss's illustration renders the climactic scene of the interpolated tale in the Collins-Dickens collaborative novella dramatically, the short story is told in the limited omniscient, giving the reader access to the thoughts and feelings not of the victim-bride but of the psychopathic groom. [Commentary continued below.]

[Click on image to enlarge it.]

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.

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