Beauty and the Beast by Jacob GrimmBeauty and the Beast – All Four Versions includes the original, adult-oriented edition of the story by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (translated from the French by James Robinson Planché), the simplified and shortened version by Jeanne-Marie Leprince De Beaumont which appeared sixteen years later - the basis for all future versions, the Brothers Grimm adaptation and a somewhat forgotten version by Victorian folklorist and anthropologist Andrew Lang. There is also an image gallery showcasing over thirty classic Beauty and the Beast illustrations by Walter Crane and others.
Beauty and the Beast – All Four Versions
Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.
Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont.
The Singing, Springing Lark by the Brothers Grimm.
Beauty and the Beast by Andrew Lang.
Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics 2x03 Beauty and the Beast Extremlym
There was once a very rich merchant, who had six children, three sons, and three daughters; being a man of sense, he spared no cost for their education, but gave them all kinds of masters. His daughters were extremely handsome, especially the youngest. When she was little everybody admired her, and called her "The little Beauty;" so that, as she grew up, she still went by the name of Beauty, which made her sisters very jealous.
Beauty and the Beast
Here we cast our minds back to the aristocratic salons of 17 th century France. In this original novella length tale, the back-story of both Belle and the Beast is given. The Beast was a young prince who lost his father, and whose mother had to wage war to defend his kingdom. The queen left him in care of an evil fairy, who tried to seduce him when he became an adult; when he refused, she transformed him into a beast. Beaumont pared down the list of characters of Beauty and Beast and simplified the tale to transform it into a quintessential fairy tale.
With over variations worldwide, the first recorded version of the story is from circa China, which retells the story of a girl who befriends a fish that ends up being the reincarnation of her mother. It is here that she loses her slipper and the king uses it to find her and marry her. The first recorded European version was written hundreds of years later in Italy. The governess has several daughters of her own who abuse their new sister and make her work in the kitchen as a servant. One day, the prince goes off to an island and is given gifts from a fairy to bring to his daughter, including a date seedling.
A wealthy merchant falls into penury after his ships founder at sea. He moves his family to the countryside to live a more frugal lifestyle. His six daughters and six sons resent the loss of their comfortable life, their social engagements, and their many admirers. His youngest daughter, Beauty, is the only one to make the best of the circumstances, throwing herself into the daily upkeep of the home in order to keep the family clean and fed. Her older sisters, who are less beautiful and less dutiful, resent her, and they mock her for contenting herself with menial work. Then, the merchant receives a welcome surprise: One of his ships, thought to be lost at sea, has come safely to harbor with its full cargo. His children think their fortune will surely be restored.
Variants of the tale are known across Europe. According to researchers at universities in Durham and Lisbon , the story originated around 4, years ago. A widower merchant lives in a mansion with his twelve children six sons and six daughters. All his daughters are very beautiful, but the youngest, Beauty, is the most lovely, as well as kind, well-read, and pure of heart; while the two elder sisters, in contrast, are cruel, selfish, vain, and spoiled. The merchant eventually loses all of his wealth in a tempest at sea, which sinks most of his merchant fleet. He and his children are consequently forced to live in a small cottage in a forest and work for a living.