Who Wrote the Book “Cinderella”?

Arts and Literature

The enchanting fairy tale of “Cinderella” has captivated readers and audiences for centuries. This timeless story has been adapted into numerous books, movies, and theatrical productions, but who is the genius behind this beloved tale?

The Origins of “Cinderella”

The story of “Cinderella” has its roots in ancient folk tales that were passed down through generations. The earliest known version of this story can be traced back to ancient Greece, where a tale called “Rhodopis” tells the story of a Greek slave girl who marries the king of Egypt. This ancient tale shares similarities with the modern-day “Cinderella” story, with themes of transformation and the triumph of good over evil.

Over the centuries, the story of “Cinderella” evolved and took on different variations in different cultures. In the 17th century, the French author Charles Perrault wrote the most famous version of “Cinderella” that we know today. Perrault’s version, titled “Cendrillon,” introduced iconic elements such as the glass slipper, the fairy godmother, and the pumpkin carriage.

Charles Perrault: The Author of “Cinderella”

Charles Perrault was born on January 12, 1628, in Paris, France. He was a lawyer by profession but is best known for his contributions to French literature. Perrault is considered one of the founding fathers of the fairy tale genre, as his works popularized and established many of the tropes and conventions that are now synonymous with fairy tales.

Perrault’s collection of fairy tales, titled “Histoires ou contes de temps passé, avec des moralités,” was published in 1697 and included iconic stories such as “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Puss in Boots.” These tales were originally written for an adult audience, but they quickly gained popularity among children as well.

Perrault’s “Cinderella”

In Perrault’s version of “Cinderella,” the story revolves around a young girl named Cinderella who is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters. With the help of her fairy godmother, Cinderella attends a royal ball where she meets the prince. However, her magical transformation is only temporary, and she must return home before midnight, leaving behind a glass slipper.

The prince searches the kingdom for the girl whose foot fits the glass slipper, and when he finds Cinderella, they live happily ever after. Perrault’s version emphasized themes of kindness, goodness, and the rewards of virtue, making it a beloved tale for generations to come.

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Other Adaptations of “Cinderella”

While Perrault’s version is the most well-known adaptation of “Cinderella,” it is not the only one. The story has been reimagined and retold in various forms across different cultures and time periods.

The Brothers Grimm

In the early 19th century, the Brothers Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm, collected and published their own version of “Cinderella” in their famous anthology of fairy tales. The Grimm brothers’ version, titled “Aschenputtel,” incorporated darker elements and a more moralistic tone compared to Perrault’s version. The stepsisters in their version go to extreme lengths, such as cutting off parts of their feet, to fit into the glass slipper.

Disney’s “Cinderella”

One of the most iconic adaptations of “Cinderella” is Disney’s animated film released in 1950. Disney’s version brought the story to life with beautiful animation, memorable songs, and a touch of magic. While staying true to Perrault’s version, Disney added its own enchanting elements, such as the iconic talking mice characters, Jaq and Gus.

Modern Retellings

In recent years, “Cinderella” has inspired numerous modern retellings that put a unique spin on the classic tale. One notable example is the 2015 live-action film adaptation starring Lily James as Cinderella. This retelling offered a more empowered and independent version of Cinderella, emphasizing her strength and resilience.

In Conclusion

The book “Cinderella” was written by Charles Perrault, a French author and lawyer. Perrault’s version of the story, published in 1697, introduced iconic elements such as the glass slipper, the fairy godmother, and the pumpkin carriage. Over the years, “Cinderella” has been adapted and retold in various forms, including the Brothers Grimm’s version and Disney’s animated film. The enduring popularity of “Cinderella” is a testament to the universal appeal of its themes of kindness, transformation, and the power of true love.

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