Title: Bluebeard’s Wife
Author: Catherine Lundoff
In: The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories (Maxim Jakubowski)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Gender
Dates read: 9th December 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: He would have to brew another tonic for her and try again.
He’s just trying to teach his wife and maids a lesson… luckily they find a way to teach him one too.
This short story seriously highlights the archaic and incredibly disturbed ideas that some people have about women. Or at least, the leading theory of the day in which Jack the Ripper was stalking the streets of Whitechapel. And somehow, reading a voice that found a way to completely justify his actions… far more terrifying than a mad man. A mad man is sick. The Ripper in this version just thought he was doing his husbandly duties… so many levels of not okay.
I actually really struggled to get through this short story. it focused on the idea that female flesh is corrupted and serves to corrupt. It’s not the first time I’ve come across this theory and attitude. But it doesn’t get any more palatable no matter how many times I read it… there is just something extra disturbed about such an idea.
Having said all of that, I would still recommend that people read this. Because the ending to this story is brilliant. And it made me feel so much better about all the horrible thoughts and feelings I was going through as the story unfolded.