History of Cinderella
HISTORY OF CINDERELLA: GOING BEYOND THE FAIRYTALE
|Cinderella is a folk tale that is present in many forms with thousands of stories that feature a young person who is in tragic circumstances and living off the charity of others. Her fortune changes as she attracts the attention of a nobleman, who must search in some way to find out her identity. When found, Cinderella becomes the spouse of royalty, while her family member get their reward for cruelty. Often there is a presence of magical items or beings to help Cinderella gain her fortune.
The earliest recorded tales is by Strabo a Greek who recorded the story of Rhodopis between 7 BCE and 23 CE. She was a young Greek courtesan who attracted the attention of the Pharaoh when an eagle flew off with her sandal and dropped it in his lap. He was so intrigued by the shoe and it's shape that he searched for the owner.
The story is also present in Asia as the Chinese have the story of Ye Xian which dates back to 860 CE, the Malay-Indonesian people have the tale of Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, the Vietnamese have Tam Cam, and other ethnic groups have similar tales.
FIRST OCCURRENCE OF THE WRITTEN STORY
The first written occurrence of the Cinderella tale, in Europe, comes from an Italian named Giambattista Basile in 1634. It is one of the stories in the Pentamerone, along with recognizable versions of Rapunzel, Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty, and Hansel and Gretel. Basile was the first person to commit oral traditional stories to the written word. His tale about Cenerentola (Cinderella) included a wicked stepmother, evil sisters, losing her shoe, magic, and a nobleman who south the owner of the shoe.
Charles Perrault, from France, wrote the story of Cinderella that is best known in its translated English version. Perrault wrote "Histoires ou contes du temps passe" in 1697. This French version includes the pumpkin, fairy godmother, and the glass slipper. It is the version that Walt Disney used to create his Cinderella movie in 1950.
CINDERELLA MEETS THE GRIMM BROTHERS
|The Grimm Brothers, from Germany, took many common tales that were only known in the oral tradition and published them in 1812 in their book Grimm's Fairy Tales. Cinderella was one of these stories, but known in the German language as Ashenputtel.
In this version, Ashenputtel plants a Hazel twig and it grows with the water of her tears. A white bird roosts in the tree, which she believes is her deceased mother. The bird then is the bearer of the white gown and silk shoes to go to the ball. She eludes the prince as he chases her home but drops one of her golden slippers.
The Prince searches the kingdom for the owner, but her stepsisters try on the shoe first. Each sister cuts off a part of their foot to fit into the slipper. The shoe still does not fit and the Prince notices the blood pouring from the shoe. Once the Prince places the shoe on Cinderella, he recognizes her and takes her away from her evil stepmother and stepsisters.
EVENT MORE VARIANTS OF THE CINDERELLA STORY
|Scholars who study folklore have isolated at least 345 variants of Cinderella in Europe. Most of the tales have a wicked female relative who persecutes her. Most of the stories also have a ball, a ball gown that appears with magic, and a built in curfew when the magic wears off. In some stories there are magic birds who provide and others have a fairy godmother that is kindness personified that enables her to attend the party.
Once she gets tired, she runs away but leaves an article of her clothing behind. In some stories, it is jewelry, and in another story a squirrel slipper as found in the Russian version.
Hundreds of books, films, plays, ballets, and TV shows have been based upon this tale. From the Muppets portrayal with Miss Piggy as Cinderella and Sesame Street's Cinderelmo, there's a vast contrast to the Russian National Ballet performing the Sergei Radchenko version of the fairy tale.
RECOMMENDED READING MATERIALS @ YOUR LIBRARY
|CINDERELLA AND THE MEAN QUEEN (AFTER HAPPILY EVER AFTER)
by: Tony Bradman
Call Number: eBook on Libby
Series: After Happily Ever After
Cinderella's Prince Charming is just perfect, but his mother is a royal pain. She makes the ugly stepsisters look friendly! With a little makeover magic, Cinderella is ready to turn the Mean Queen into the Nice Queen.
|CINDERELLA: 4 BELOVED TALES
by: Cari Meister
Call Number: E MEISTER
Series: Stories Around the World
Retells the classic French version of Cinderella, along with three similar tales: Rhodopis from Egypt, Yeh-Shen from China, and Little Burnt Face from the Micmac Indians of the Canadian Maritimes.
by: Christy Webster
Call Number: PB CHILD WEBSTER
Series: Once Before Time
In this prehistoric retelling of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella Rex wants to go to the ball, but her stompmother and stompsisters make her clean up after them instead. With some help from her Fairy Triceratops, Cinderella Rex figures out how to dance her way to living happily ever after!
|IF THE SHOE FITS: VOICES FROM CINDERELLA
by: Laura Whipple
Call Number: HSU Holding
This book takes a fresh look at an old and and favorite story. In 33 poems it brings to life not only the voices of well-loved characters, but also voices of those not usually heard from - including the glass slipper, without which the story would not have a happy ending. On the stage set by the story we hear each player tell the tale from their point of view, answering the questions that swirl around Cinderella:
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