Posted by ESC on October 02, 2003
In Reply to: Beauty and the beast posted by Lydia on October 01, 2003
: Who was the original author of Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty and the Beast, Story Origins (Compiled April, 1997)http://www.balletmet.org/Notes/StoryOrigin.html%20Accessed%20October%201, 2003.
The story of Beauty and the Beast has been around for centuries in both written and oral form, and more recently in film and video. Many experts trace similarities back to the stories of Cupid and Psyche, Oedipus and Apuleius' The Golden A s s of the second century A.D.
The tale of Beauty and the Beast was first collected in Gianfranceso Straparola's Le piacevolo notti (The Nights of Straparola) 1550-53. The earliest French version is an ancient Basque tale where the father was a king and the beast a serpent. Charles Perrault popularized the fairy tale with his collection Contes de ma mere l'oye (Tales of Mother Goose) in 1697. The 17th century Pentamerone is also said to include similar tales.
The first truly similar tale to the one we know today was published in 1740 by Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Gallon de Villeneuve as part of a collection of stories La jeune amériquaine, et les contes marins (told by an old woman during a long sea voyage). Mme. de Villeneuve wrote fairy tale romances drawn from earlier literature and folk tales for the entertainment of her salon friends.
The first published version of the tale was written by Madame Gabrielle de Villeneuve, and published in La jeune ameriquaine, et les contes marins in 1740.