“Lady Mary was young, and Lady Mary was fair. She had two brothers and more lovers than she could count.” And so begins Joseph Jacob’s story called Mr. Fox which is my favorite Blackbeard story. This story seems different from the other stories because Lady Mary, though young and beautiful like the other women, is not a virgin and overall seems to be more active in her life. First, her title indicates that she is not just any woman but a woman with some societal standing and thus has a greater expectancy for who she wants to marry. Indeed it seems as if she is the one who chose Mr. Fox as her husband, not the other way around, and just because he was her favorite. The story continues with her looking for his house, not him inviting her, and relying on her own wits to escape the bloody scene. After all, “Lady Mary was a brave one”. The next day she recounts her dream, after being prompted by her soon-to-be-husband-and-murderer-of-young-ladies, brushes off Mr. Fox’s multiple attempts to stop her, exposes his true nature, and gets her family to cut him into pieces right then and there! I also thought it was kind of funny that he died because of his greed. If he had not cut off the girl’s hand to get to the diamond, Lady Mary would not have had the proof of his hidden nature and thus he might have been able to escape his death.
Lastly, in this story the villain figure/Bluebeard is Mr. Fox but he seems to have a very minor role compared to Lady Mary’s actions. Through out the story there is very little description to his actions or person, even his death is a fast one! He is pretty much an unknown and only becomes active in the night when he kills the poor girl. This story supports the interpretation of women not knowing the nature of men before marriage but at the same time it suggests that women should also stand up for themselves and be selective when choosing their husbands. Honestly, I am a bit surprised that Mr. Fox does not have a more active role considering the story is named after him!
(Not many good images for Blackbeard :( )