Munro S. Edmonson, Lore: an Introduction to the Science of Folklore and Literature, Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1971


This ballad tells the story of a Bluebeard-type knight who is tricked and killed by a maiden whom he attempts to add to his grisly conquests. The Dutch version is probably the earliest and may go back in its original form to the fifteenth century.

The approximate relationships among the variants are indicated in Figure 7. There are several features of interest. The relative autonomy of each national tradition is striking. The processes of both differentiation and recombination are much in evidence.... The lines on Figure 7 may be assumed to indicate channels of particularly intensive communication, but even this network does not exhaust the contacts that must have taken place.