This fast-paced story follows Gilles de Rais, the infamous Bluebeard, as he descends from bravery on the battlefield, alongside Joan of Arc, to moral depravity and child exploitation. Explore the enigma of a man known for his valiance, yet secretly filled with dark depths of historical evil. What causes a man to develop into such a person? The author focuses on de Rais's foundation for mental and intellectual development and his life before the sword clashing, blood-letting battles of the Hundred Years War. She presents hypotheses, from genetic disposition to PTSD, to explain his demonic actions. "Bluebeard" presents thought-provoking possibilities for how a brave warrior who led a life of valor could descend into the darkest depths of depravity.
Valerie Ogden accidentally found out about Bluebeard when her nephew married his descendant, and the family hushed all her sudden questions. Absorbed by his story, she decided to research his life with an extensive visit to the Bibliotheque de Nantes in Brittany, France, the site of many of his massacres. She is an American actor and former editor at "House & Garden." She has also served as a district committeeperson, Chair of the Mayor's Animal Advisory Committee for the City of Philadelphia, and President of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.