La Belle et la Bête
Le monstre se fit entendre. Un bruit effroyable, causé par le poids énorme de son corps, par le cliquetis terrible de ses écailles et par des hurlements affreux, annonça son arrivée. En voyant approcher la Bête, qu'elle ne put envisager sans frémir en elle-même, la Belle avança d'un pas ferme, et d'un air modeste salua fort respectueusement la Bête. Cette démarche plut au monstre et, se retournant vers la Belle, il lui dit : "Bonsoir, la Belle".

La Belle et la Bête Details

TitleLa Belle et la Bête
Author
LanguageFrench
ReleaseApr 1st, 2010
PublisherFolio
ISBN-139782070349593
Rating
GenreClassics, Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Romance, Fiction

La Belle et la Bête Review

  • Brina
    January 1, 1970
    The 1700s introduced fairy tales to the world. Charles Perrault penned the most famous one, Cinderella, which has spurred countless adaptations. Influenced by Perrault, Gabriella- Suzanne Barbot de Villenueve wrote the original Beauty and the Beast in 1740. Her story has also produced adaptations, most famously Disney's story about Belle and the Beast. Yet, Villenueve's tale little resembles the modern animated film, and is an interesting study in the origins of fairy tales. A well to do The 1700s introduced fairy tales to the world. Charles Perrault penned the most famous one, Cinderella, which has spurred countless adaptations. Influenced by Perrault, Gabriella- Suzanne Barbot de Villenueve wrote the original Beauty and the Beast in 1740. Her story has also produced adaptations, most famously Disney's story about Belle and the Beast. Yet, Villenueve's tale little resembles the modern animated film, and is an interesting study in the origins of fairy tales. A well to do merchant is the father to six daughters and six sons. He is to embark on a journey and asks his children what gift they desire upon his return. Eleven voices clamor for jewelry or riches, but one, the youngest daughter named Beauty, asks for a rose. The merchant travels and then finds himself at a magnificent castle. A full spread of food has been set out for him and he rests there. On the verge of leaving for home, the merchant spots a rose in the garden, picks but one flower, and is detained by a hideous beast, who he fears will devour him on the spot. At this point, the crux of the story does resemble the modern Disney tale: the merchant is about to be made prisoner of the beast for life. He bargains and asks if a daughter can take his place. Beauty, who is to be the recipient of the gift, agrees to live in the castle. She arrives and is given a suite to live in full of jewels, gowns, and a magic mirror where she can see any room in the palace. This is where the two stories differ. There are no singing tea pots, candlesticks, or clocks. Rather, there are diverse monkeys and birds at Belle's disposal, as well as a nightly opera for her to enjoy. The Beast is charming in disposition from the outset, and it appears that he is out to woo Beauty, rather than the other way around, and he even offers her a giant library near the beginning of her stay in the castle. Beauty never doubts Beast's character, only his appearance. His transformation actually occurs at the midway point of the tale. The second half of the tale does not contain a splashy wedding full of ball gowns and fireworks. Rather, a fairy comes to the castle along with the Beast's mother and Beauty's biological father and explains the backstory to all parties involved. The story is full of fairies, curses, blessings, and other mythical creatures, that one would expect to find in a traditional fairy tale. I found this part of the story to be fascinating as growing up the only available story to me had been the Disneyfied version. Even though this original is not as full of glamor and show stopping songs, I found it to be a better overall story. My version of Beauty and the Beast is accompanied by stunning illustrations by Mina Lima. They add life to the tale as they show Beauty, the Beast, and the goings on in the castle. I admit that the Disney version of the tale is one of the Disney movies I actually allow my daughters to watch because the protagonist is a girl who loves to read and has to be worthy to break a curse and loves the Beast for his character rather than his appearance. The original tale does contain these elements minus the music and as a story is not as far fetched. I enjoyed reading the origin of this story, and rate the original Beauty and the Beast 3.75 stars.
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  • Joey Woolfardis
    January 1, 1970
    It never even occurred to me that Beauty and the Beast was an original story in of itself, despite the fact that only about 5% of anything Disney have made has been original and without basic inspiration, however tenuous that inspiration may be. The irony of this is not lost on anyone who has received a cease and desist letter from them whilst peddling their wares. But it seems I digress.I find myself a little torn in the rating of this book. The review will focus on the 1740 fairytale first and It never even occurred to me that Beauty and the Beast was an original story in of itself, despite the fact that only about 5% of anything Disney have made has been original and without basic inspiration, however tenuous that inspiration may be. The irony of this is not lost on anyone who has received a cease and desist letter from them whilst peddling their wares. But it seems I digress.I find myself a little torn in the rating of this book. The review will focus on the 1740 fairytale first and then move on to the physical edition, which I think requires it's own review for various reasons.First of all, the story. Having become disenchanted with Disney since their partnership with Pixar and the giant bug-eyes of their new characters (other reasons exist, but this one appears the most prevalent) I don't have any ties to their Beauty and the Beast as I never considered this a favourite in any case. However, I was, of course, entirely aware of their version and knew instantly how different this story was.I shall refrain from too many comparisons between Disney film and the original fairytale, but there is little similar except the finding of love between the title characters. I was enamoured from the beginning: I thought the storytelling was beautiful and the atmosphere evocative and I enjoyed following the adventure of the Good Man and his sons and daughters, including Beauty herself.By the end though, I was bored. It had become tedious and the storytelling was no longer good. Mid-way it became very repetitive as we followed Beauty around her new home and the recurrence of her dreams may have been a delight for her but for me they were abysmal repetitions of nonsense. I missed the splendour of the beginning and, though we had moments of strife, they were few and far between. And then we had a weird addendum at the end that stalled the whole thing as Fairies and Kings stood about telling long stories.Whilst I loved the beginning, the ending really spoilt it for me. I don't think an abridged version of this tale would be a bad thing, though I will always give the benefit of doubt to any translation, though I also didn't feel this was a particular French tale, either.The physical book itself I was extremely excited by. I care not that the illustrators had involvement with Harry Potter, but I own their other books and adore the covers and the elements inside. This one, however, was quite the disappointment. I'm marginally annoyed at how the interactive elements are made for right-handed people, but that's besides the point. They were fairly basic: lift a flap here, turn a wheel there. There was a book of Fairies that I thought would contain some wonderfully magical elements, but the inside was exactly the same as the cover. It was, in short, really rather pointless overall.Interactive Elements aside, the illustrations were lovely, despite the fact that the Beast is the Disney version (the book notes the Beast has scales, not fur) but again, I am probably being picky. The whole experience was rather disappointing and, though it began magical and rather enchanting, both the story and the illustrations became all a little too tedious by the end. I cannot even bring myself to add an extra star for the illustrations or beautiful binding as I don't feel my enjoyment was caused by such.What more can I say. It was so disappointing, but since I held no flame to this story my soul wasn't crushed. I actually still prefer this story to the Disney version, but maybe that's just my anti-big-company-bullying coming in to play. And how I hate those stupid big bug eyes.
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  • Zoe Stewart (yerabooknerdzoe)
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a tough rating for me. I want to give it five stars, but I want to give it two at the same time. A happy medium of 3.5 doesn't feel right though. I've always loved the Disney version of this fairy tale more than anything, and I loved this original version too. At the same time, I kind of hated it? No, that's too strong of an emotion. I was semi-bored through most of it. I love the story, but not the writing. However, it may have just been this translation, so I'm going to find This is such a tough rating for me. I want to give it five stars, but I want to give it two at the same time. A happy medium of 3.5 doesn't feel right though. I've always loved the Disney version of this fairy tale more than anything, and I loved this original version too. At the same time, I kind of hated it? No, that's too strong of an emotion. I was semi-bored through most of it. I love the story, but not the writing. However, it may have just been this translation, so I'm going to find another one and try it again. Better yet, when I brush up on my French enough to read a book, I'll read the original. Nothing is ever as good as a translation. At the same time, some of it was just so long-winded. The last 40 pages or so were history info-dump, "this is why the story happened". It could've been done in a much better way. Translations aside, if this book was written today, I would've ripped it apart. The phrase "for a woman" or "for her sex" popped up more than once, and again, if it was a modern book, game over. However, this was written in 1740. It was a different world, and I understand that. I'm reading through the lens of 2018, where that shit wouldn't fly. I imagine this was pretty progressive for its time though. I think, for nostalgia purposes, as well as how much I loved the story (and seeing where Disney changed things up), I'm going with 4.5. Maybe. This could change to a solid four or five. Maybe a three. Who knows? NOT ME.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    This was such an exquisite read made all the more delightful thanks to MiniLima's illustrations and interactive elements which made the overall reading experience a pleasure. This original 1740 story of the classic fairy-tale is VERY different to the Disney film from 1991. Firstly, there is no Gaston, Lefou, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts, etc. No Siree, they do not feature at all. This tale purely concerns Belle (who is known as Beauty), the Beast, her father, his mother and a couple of fairies. This was such an exquisite read made all the more delightful thanks to MiniLima's illustrations and interactive elements which made the overall reading experience a pleasure. This original 1740 story of the classic fairy-tale is VERY different to the Disney film from 1991. Firstly, there is no Gaston, Lefou, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts, etc. No Siree, they do not feature at all. This tale purely concerns Belle (who is known as Beauty), the Beast, her father, his mother and a couple of fairies. I really enjoyed reading this because it was so different to the Disney film and I was surprised at all of the changes the latter made to the original story. The book maintained a nice and steady pace throughout and up until chapter 8 I was thoroughly enchanted until...in classic literature form, there was a huge info dump which revealed the background of Beauty. There were so many twists and turns, fairies turning into serpents, fairies being banished, forbidden love, an attempt on Beauty's life, there was just TOO much to take in in a single chapter which left my head spinning. This is the only criticism I could find but because it hampered the flow of the narrative, I couldn't award it 5 stars :( The additional interactive elements were a beautiful bonus and I found myself relishing the next one since it gave the story a lovely tactile edge. Overall, a lovely and enchanting read, just don't expect the appearance of all your favourite Disney characters, as sadly, they are missing.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    This version of Beauty and the Beast is the earliest as it is known today, although it is often misattributed to the heavily abridged, plagiarized version by Jeanne Marie LaPrince Beaumont, which was published about thirteen years after this one.Villeneuve's version begins with a nameless merchant, elderly and prosperous, who was widowed years ago and has twelve children, six boys and six girls, to provide for. The boys are brave and brash and everything you would want boys to be. Five of the This version of Beauty and the Beast is the earliest as it is known today, although it is often misattributed to the heavily abridged, plagiarized version by Jeanne Marie LaPrince Beaumont, which was published about thirteen years after this one.Villeneuve's version begins with a nameless merchant, elderly and prosperous, who was widowed years ago and has twelve children, six boys and six girls, to provide for. The boys are brave and brash and everything you would want boys to be. Five of the girls are materialistic and catty, but the youngest is good-tempered, virtuous, prudent, beautiful, and talented. Guess which one the main character turns out to be!The merchant loses his fortunes, forcing him and his brood to abandon their nouveau-riche existence in the city for a country house. Only the sons and the youngest daughter, whose given name everyone has forgotten because they all call her Beauty, adjust to their new surroundings with any grace.After two years in reduced circumstances the merchant gets what sounds like good news: one of the ships he thought lost might have finally reached harbor. He anticipates the return of his fortunes and tells each kid to put in a request for him to bring back to them from the city. The boys want boy things, the five older girls want trinkets, and Beauty, who asks for nothing at first, eventually requests a rose, inexpensive and lovely.But the merchant discovers the ship that just put in anchorage wasn't his after all. Riding home in discouragement, he is hit by a sudden snowstorm and seeks refuge in a mysterious woodland palace. There he finds ample food and creature comforts, but no other living beings that he can see. He suspects he has stumbled on the home of a faerie or an old god, and is appropriately cautious. The owner of the palace cultivates an impressive garden, which grows unaffected by the harsh weather, and in this garden the merchant finds a perfect rose. But when he cuts it, a hideous monster springs on him threatening to kill him for stealing it. The poor man begs for his life, and the Beast agrees to spare him in exchange for one of his daughters.The merchant doesn't want to sacrifice any child of his to the abomination, but once he gets home he tells his children the whole sorry tale, so they know why he must soon leave to be killed, and of course Beauty volunteers to die in his place. Reluctantly he brings her back to the palace in the wood, where the Beast welcomes her cordially and she is more than comfortably housed.Beauty figures out pretty quickly that the monster does not, in fact, want to kill her - else he would never have gone to all this trouble to make sure she was entertained in every possible way. There's a massive library full of books at her disposal, as well as art galleries, musical instruments, menageries of birds and monkeys, puppet shows, and magic mirrors that allow her to watch plays and operas in all the swankiest Parisian and Italian theatres from a distance. (Any mention of religious services is curiously absent, perhaps signalling that the French aristocracy had ceased to care much for their faith long before the Revolution outlawed it).There is also a reoccurring dream of a young man, handsome and courtly beyond the lot of mortals, who meets Beauty in various locations, protesting his love for her and begging her to release him from imprisonment. When awake, she sees his likeness in various locations throughout the palace. She finds herself falling for the dream boy, but every night the poor Beast asks for her hand in marriage. She can't bear the thought of marrying the monster, but at the same time she grows so fond of him, and grateful, that she figures she can bear it. She actually finds his company far more agreeable than that of her family (especially those awful sisters).Another reoccurring dream is of a queenly woman telling her not to trust appearances, for things are not always what they seem.But inevitably Beauty does get homesick, and the Beast (with no small amount of self-pitying dramatics) allows her to go see her family for two months, warning her that he'll probably die if she tarries any longer. No pressure! She goes home, delighting her dad and her brothers and inadvertently stealing all five of her sisters' boyfriends. When the situation at home finally becomes unbearable, she uses a magic ring the Beast gave her to return to his palace - but once there, she can't find him.She does stumble upon him eventually, in a garden grotto, near death as he said he would be. Deeply grieved, she declares that she loves him and can't live without him, and promises her hand in marriage. This revives him somewhat and they return to the palace as usual.Next morning, she wakes up next to the glorious young man from her dream (chastely, one assumes) and realizes that he and the Beast were the same person all along. While sufficiently obvious to a modern reader, one must remember that this was probably a Megan Whalen Turner-level twist back in 1740.The two are shortly surprised by the appearance of his mother, the Queen of somewhere, and a Fairy who is related to both of them somehow (it's complicated). From here, the Prince has an extended monologue explaining to Beauty how he was placed under such a cruel enchantment, and then, when the King of yet another magical land (who is Beauty's biological father) shows up, the Fairy tells him the long story of what happened to his presumed-dead wife and his only daughter.Turns out that the girl and the boy were nothing but pawns in a dynastic struggle between fairy sisters. One fairy fell in love with the mortal King, angering most of the other fairies so badly that they imprisoned her, staged her death, and tried to kill her little daughter, Beauty (who was rescued by the good Fairy who left her as a changeling with the merchant, whose real infant daughter died and he never knew). Meanwhile, one of the mean fairies gained custody of the Prince. Once he finished puberty she started to lust after him, and when he refused her advances she turned him into the Beast and laid her very specific curse on him. The good Fairy who had saved Beauty from assassination as a baby worked diligently to force the changeling girl to the enchanted castle. In the end, all harms are healed, the King and his faerie Queen are reunited, and the two young newlyweds whine their way into frequent vacations to the enchanted palace so they don't have to, you know, rule their kingdom all that much. Yay!The plot structure, by modern standards, is terrible, but the novel was a new art form then and very much still in flux. As you can see, Disney changed an awful lot to produce the story we're all familiar with. The characters in the 1991 animated movie are flawed and drive the story by their actions, instead of being helplessly tossed about by the whims of Greek gods faeries, which makes them a lot more compelling (here the two leads are so perfect they make one nauseous by the end). Also, Disney's Belle is really just a mortal girl who likes to read and aspires to be more than a trophy wife, not a super-magical faerie princess in disguise. Gaston is an interesting villain - imagine if the protagonists had to fight him on one front and the bad fairy on the other - and the talking household items, while a bit too cutesy for my taste, certainly inject personality and humor into an otherwise painfully self-serious story. But I'm not bashing Villeneuve here, as her intricate backstory for the Prince's curse and the machinations of the Faerie Court are as sensible an explanation as we're ever likely to get for the bizarre events of this story. The influence of The Aeneid and Metamorphoses is keenly felt; like the old gods, the faeries work behind the scenes of mortal life, and while they cannot directly undo the work of other faeries, they can plant the seeds for a mortal to do so. And this book, in turn, has been enormously influential. Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice is a cousin of the bad fairy in this story, while the Witch of the Waste in Howl's Moving Castle is a direct descendant. A crazed woman trying to drive the lovers apart is of course part of Jane Eyre , while the curse itself is similar to what happens to the aforementioned Howl, and a curse like that would go a long way toward explaining the erratic behavior of Jareth in Labyrinth. The Silver Chair is what might have happened if the bad fairy had successfully carried off the Prince. Tamora Pierce borrowed a lot from this for her Immortals series: the Emperor's zoo in Emperor Mage is awfully similar to that of the Prince here, and Daine, like Beauty, turns out to be a crazy-powerful being whose parents belong to a higher realm. There are a few highly annoying elements for the twenty-first century reader, especially Villeneuve's occasional references to revolutions without the slightest hint of sympathy, and all the characters do wind up behaving like pampered aristocrats. But Villeneuve was part of that ruling class, writing what she knew and writing for people like herself.What Villeneuve lacks in plotting skills she makes up for in creativity: she takes elements from the Greek myths of Hades and Persephone, and Cupid and Psyche, and mixes them so winsomely that her work is still nearly everyone's favorite fairy tale (even though most of us are only familiar with the Disney version).It is greatly unfortunate that the 2017 live-action Disney film largely ignored this fascinating source material in favor of recreating the cartoon frame for frame. They missed a great opportunity to add intrigue and mystery to a tale as old as time. (Besides, Emma Watson?!? Really, casting department?!?).Recommended for people who love fairy tales and mythology, and aren't so irrationally attached to Disney that they can't bear to explore other versions of the story.You might also like:- The Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux- Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley- Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones- Jim Henson's Labyrinth: The Novelization by A.C.H.Smith - Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier- East by Edith Pattou- Chalice by Robin McKinley
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  • Eman
    January 1, 1970
    The above beauty is my copy of The Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, designed by MinaLima who create the coolest books with interactive elements and gorgeous illustrations that have an old feel which is worthy of the tale-as-old-as-time. I was over the moon when I first heard about this book that I preordered it long before its release date.I can confidently declare preferring Disney's vision to the book. Disney's Belle is more independent, an empowering role model The above beauty is my copy of The Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, designed by MinaLima who create the coolest books with interactive elements and gorgeous illustrations that have an old feel which is worthy of the tale-as-old-as-time. I was over the moon when I first heard about this book that I preordered it long before its release date.I can confidently declare preferring Disney's vision to the book. Disney's Belle is more independent, an empowering role model for girls who wouldn't settle for a conventional life and traditional marriage. She seeks adventure and true love. Beauty in the book is leaning on the timid and naive side. But both have kindness and courage, and that what matters the most. Everyone who knows me personally knows how much I adore Beauty and the Beast. I struggled to put aside my prejudice in favor of it and gave it less than the full starry rating. There was a certain aspect which I didn't like and couldn't possibly overlook. I'll explain about it further, but first let me tell newbies the new facts that I have learned so far about the beloved tale of B&B:• Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve is the author of the original unabridged book (1740), while Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont has a somewhat newer version (1756) which was butcheredly abridged to an extent that certain things didn't make sense. [Butchered version reviewed here].• Gabrielle-Suzanne's original book will introduce you to: Beauty's world of dreams, her talking/acting animal companions, the history of the Beast's curse, Beauty's parentage, and lots of fairy business. All that was wiped up from Jeanne-Marie's abridged version.• Both written versions don't look anything like the illustrious cherished-by-every-bookworm-I-know Disney animation, well, except in the concept of the Beast's cursed situation and what it took to break the curse which is basically similar to the animation. • Alas, I counted only 2 references to Beauty's bibliophile status. I was dying to identify with her characteristic love for books more than what's actually there. I anticipated her spending more time reading than sleeping and dreaming of the Beast/lover.The thing that I disliked the most is Beauty's family tree.. (view spoiler)[The Queen (Beast's mother) opposed the marriage of her son to a "common low-born merchant's daughter" despite breaking her son's curse and having EVERYTHING any mother-in-law would dream of in a daughter-in-law. Then the good Fairy seized the moment to drop the bomb and expose that:(a) Beauty is actually the King's daughter. (b) The King is actually the Queen's brother.(c) Beauty's mother is actually a Fairy. (d) That Fairy is actually the good Fairy's sister. That makes Beauty the niece of the Queen (royal blood: dad-side) and the niece of the good Fairy (fairy blood: mom-side) as a bonus. Only then the Queen did approve of Beauty and blessed the union. Mind-blown yet? (hide spoiler)]. What's wrong with being a "common low-born merchant's daughter"? What would've happened if she wasn't royalty? No happy ending I guess. The whole social hierarchy thingy sucks and it's not what I'd promote in a fairy-tale for little girls. It's like: you can't dream of ending up a princess if you didn't actually have royal blood in the first place, even if you had all the virtues in the universe, you wouldn't be good enough for a prince and you'll be looked down at. It's depressing and I'd have liked it to the moon and back had Beauty remained a common poor girl till the end. __________ Morals of the story: - Expand your horizon; don't judge a book by its cover, or people by their appearances.. (one of my biggest weaknesses is falling for eye-candy, can't help loving beautiful things—or people.)- Having a spotless character and every virtue possible in the world in not enough, you gotta be royal first in order to be a princess.. (sick message, I know, but sadly it's what the book advocates.)- If a man puts a library with countless books at your disposal, marry him! He's a keeper.. (even if he looked like a butt.. The books, girl, take a deep breath and remember all the books!)__________At last, I can hardly wait for 17 March 2017. Too excited for the live action musical of Beauty and the Beast. *goosebumps*
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  • Kate (GirlReading)
    January 1, 1970
    It was so interesting to read the original story of one of my all time favourite Disney movies. It's so different in nearly every way, other than the core 'prince being the beast' plot (but I have to admit, I do prefer the Disney Classic and it's 'Disneyness'.) If I'm honest, I did find this a little hard to follow, due to not being used to the 1700's language but the MinaLima edition is absolutely gorgeous! The interactive parts were such a fun edition and the illustrations and colours were It was so interesting to read the original story of one of my all time favourite Disney movies. It's so different in nearly every way, other than the core 'prince being the beast' plot (but I have to admit, I do prefer the Disney Classic and it's 'Disneyness'.) If I'm honest, I did find this a little hard to follow, due to not being used to the 1700's language but the MinaLima edition is absolutely gorgeous! The interactive parts were such a fun edition and the illustrations and colours were stunning! It's definitely something that will be sitting proudly on my bookshelves for a very long time to come! (I'm still not over the beauty of its cover and spine...)
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  • Megan Agee
    January 1, 1970
    Very beautiful!
  • Asghar Abbas
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, I don't know why I thought this was a Disney thing, maybe the timing. Emma Watson was just recently our guest. But no, this is the original novel the one that has the merchant and the rose stuff going on, something I always wanted and wanted to read, two different things, with such beautiful artwork and illustrations. Wow, what a truly gorgeous edition. Really, a must for all the fans of this tale as old as time. Get a copy. Definitely worth it.It has this really cool interactive feature Okay, I don't know why I thought this was a Disney thing, maybe the timing. Emma Watson was just recently our guest. But no, this is the original novel the one that has the merchant and the rose stuff going on, something I always wanted and wanted to read, two different things, with such beautiful artwork and illustrations. Wow, what a truly gorgeous edition. Really, a must for all the fans of this tale as old as time. Get a copy. Definitely worth it.It has this really cool interactive feature that you can surely enjoy with your kids. If you don't have any, go make some. So that you can share this lovely book with them.The whole thing is just so beautiful and worthy of Belle and her library. It is her library, the Beast gave it to her.
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  • Ana
    January 1, 1970
    There are a lot more dream sequences and fairies in the original story than I expected. The fairy section of the story felt tagged on in an anti-climatic manner and I still dislike how the story puts forward the mantra that you should love the person who loves you regardless of how little you have in common. Now I understand why Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont abridged the original and thus created the more popular version.
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  • The Enchanted Library
    January 1, 1970
    What a struggle...The book itself is very well done and the illustrations are beautiful, but I really can't get through this.The Disney story is MUCH BETTER. That's it What a struggle...The book itself is very well done and the illustrations are beautiful, but I really can't get through this.The Disney story is MUCH BETTER. That's it✌
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  • Kirsty
    January 1, 1970
    2017 seems a fitting year in which to read The Beauty and the Beast, as Disney released its live action blockbuster just a few months ago. I did love the cartoon film as a child - my particular fondness, of course, was for the tiny chipped teacup and the glimpse of Belle's library - but was very underwhelmed by the new interpretation. Regardless, I had never read Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve's original story before, and made up my mind to do so.I'm sure everyone already knows the story 2017 seems a fitting year in which to read The Beauty and the Beast, as Disney released its live action blockbuster just a few months ago. I did love the cartoon film as a child - my particular fondness, of course, was for the tiny chipped teacup and the glimpse of Belle's library - but was very underwhelmed by the new interpretation. Regardless, I had never read Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve's original story before, and made up my mind to do so.I'm sure everyone already knows the story of The Beauty and the Beast, but if not, I will offer a short recap. The tale of a merchant opens the story; once prosperous, he has lost his fortune due to one catastrophe after another. He moves his sizeable family - six daughters and six sons - to a secluded house which he owns, one hundred miles away. Of the effects which this has upon the merchant's largely spoilt and self-obsessed daughters, de Villeneuve writes: 'They thought that if they wished only for a husband they would obtain one; but they did not remain very long in such a delightful illusion. They had lost their greatest attractions when, like a flash of lightning, their father's splendid fortune had disappeared, and their time for choosing had departed with it. Their crowd of admirers vanished at the moment of their downfall; their beauty was not sufficiently powerful to retain one of them'. The girls have no choice but to 'shut themselves up in their country house, situated in the middle of an almost impenetrable forest, and which might well be considered the saddest abode in the world.'The family's youngest daughter, sixteen-year-old Beauty, is the anomaly. She has so much compassion and empathy for her family, and is a refreshing addition to a brood of rather horrid, vain girls. She in fact shows strength in the face of the family's new-found adversity: 'She bore her lot cheerfully, and with strength of mind much beyond her years'. When her father has to undertake a long journey in the hope of reclaiming some of his former possessions, her sisters clamour for new dresses and finery. Beauty simply asks him to bring her back a rose. Her father is subsequently caught in a snowstorm which disorientates him, and seeks shelter in an enormous, grand castle. He finds no inhabitant, but regardless, a meal is presented to him in a cosy room. He - for no explicit reason - decides that, with no sign of an owner about, the castle must now belong to him. The merchant becomes rather cocksure, and decides to kill two birds with one stone, taking a rose for his beloved younger daughter from the castle's garden. It is at this point that he is given his comeuppance, and reprimanded by the Beast, the castle's owner: 'He was terribly alarmed upon perceiving at his side a horrible beast, which, with an air of fury, laid upon his neck a kind of trunk, resembling an elephant's...'. The Beast pardons him only in exchange for one of his daughters. When the merchant describes his plight, five of his six daughters are, unsurprisingly, selfish, and believe that he should sacrifice himself for their benefit. Beauty, however, steps up to the mark, and is taken to the castle to live with the Beast.The Beauty and the Beast has been so well plotted, and has many elements of the traditional fairytale in its favour. Despite this, it goes further; its length allows de Villeneuve to really explore what could be termed magical realism. The vivid dreams which Beauty has are beautifully depicted, and tension is built at times. I found The Beauty and the Beast just as enjoyable as I would have as a child. The magic which weaves its way through the novel cannot fail to draw one under its spell; there are talking animals, enchanted mirrors, and things which appear and disappear. The talking crockery and candelabra are very much Disney additions; the novel reads as a far more fresh, and less gimmicky, version of the story. I am pleased that I chose to read the unabridged version of de Villeneuve's story, which was published in its original French in 1740. This particular edition has been translated and adapted by Rachel Louise Lawrence, who has very much retained a lot of its antiquity. The sentence structure is quite old-fashioned - charmingly so, in fact. The writing and translation here are fluid and lovely. I would urge you, if you've not seen the film, to pick up this delightful tome instead. There is so much substance here, and it should definitely be placed alongside children's classics such as The Railway Children and Mary Poppins.
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  • Hana Bilqisthi
    January 1, 1970
    This is my fav classic.I usually feel bored when reading classic,this one is an exception.The story break into two part: Belle and Beast.I really like the Belle part. I am quite surprise to find out that Belle is really strong girl. She always sees silver lining in everything.Btw, I am sad to said that I did not like the Beast part. The narration consist of a lot of telling, not action. I felt like I was reading verbatim. It tried to explain why Beast became a beast and Belle’s real background. This is my fav classic.I usually feel bored when reading classic,this one is an exception.The story break into two part: Belle and Beast.I really like the Belle part. I am quite surprise to find out that Belle is really strong girl. She always sees silver lining in everything.Btw, I am sad to said that I did not like the Beast part. The narration consist of a lot of telling, not action. I felt like I was reading verbatim. It tried to explain why Beast became a beast and Belle’s real background. The explanation is so bizzare and illogical and it made me laugh, instead mad/angry. “Hahaha I can’t believe there are person who think like this.”The story feel fresh and original.The translation quality is really good and the cover is such an eye candy.Thank you penerbit Qanita for publishing this version of Beauty and The Beast.Review ini juga bisa dibaca di blog Hana Book Review
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  • Mina Soare
    January 1, 1970
    For the Librivox audiobook edition, many thanks to Ezwa and Nadine Eckert-Boulet.This is the oldest known version of the Beauty and the Beast. For students of the beauteous French language, it has simple enough structures and a average range of vocabulary. The audiobook version is free, Ezwa has a clear accent and her reading speed is comfortable.This story appeared 50 years before the French Revolution, at a point where the burgeoisie were getting discontent with the monarchy and nobility. For the Librivox audiobook edition, many thanks to Ezwa and Nadine Eckert-Boulet.This is the oldest known version of the Beauty and the Beast. For students of the beauteous French language, it has simple enough structures and a average range of vocabulary. The audiobook version is free, Ezwa has a clear accent and her reading speed is comfortable.This story appeared 50 years before the French Revolution, at a point where the burgeoisie were getting discontent with the monarchy and nobility. Considering the author's origin, it's not unexpected that the burgeoisie does not make a good appearance. Actually, seeing as I'm doing a Business degree, I'm fairly outraged that she dared to treat the merchant as if his initial wealth was inherited and not the product of hard work. What's more, he appeared to be content to live off the wealth he later received, instead of using his skills and connections to seek to improve it. How dare she?!The female characters have a negative representation. The merchant's daughters are often written as petty and jealous, Belle as humble and self-effacing (view spoiler)[, she is later revealed to be nobility, and, seeing as she is used as a foil for her sisters, the implication for the burgeoisie becomes particularly heavy-handed when one reads her called "so perfect a girl" (hide spoiler)], the married women as self-effacing, the good fae as spinsters who care for the family, the evil fae as ugly (classical esthetics cliché) and the one woman who takes control of the army, defends her country and conquers the invader is shamed for being a working mom. Points for originality, although I suspect the author had no better way to get her out of the castle enough for her kid to get in trouble.In comparison the male characters have positive, if bland standard comparisons, with the one exception of the merchant father. Used as a representative of the bourgeoisie, he often appears weak and self-serving. (view spoiler)[Moreover, he is told that he hugged his daughter enough and that paternal feelings should give way to his natural respect and servitude for a superior, now that Belle is a princess. (hide spoiler)] The Beast is fairly interesting, in that he receives the additional obstacle to act "stupidly", hence his personality had no role in his becoming loved, rather his actions, showing honor, restraint and generosity of purse, outweighted his appearance. 18th century ethicsThat aside, the writing was quite pretty and the frame story device never fails to make me feel nostalgic.
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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those cases where Disney did it better. It’s not a bad story by all means but Disney added in some great morals and lots more magic. This original story was a little boring near the end.
  • Arlene
    January 1, 1970
    ”Love him who loves you. Do not be misled by appearances, and release me from prison.”“The greatest happiness fades when it is continual, derived always from the same source, and we find ourselves exempted from fear and from hope. “Originally published in 1740, Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve crafted a fantastical story of a beautiful girl that looked beyond appearances to find love. A classic in its own right. Beautiful and timeless. So much more to this tale than I could have imagined. ”Love him who loves you. Do not be misled by appearances, and release me from prison.”“The greatest happiness fades when it is continual, derived always from the same source, and we find ourselves exempted from fear and from hope. “Originally published in 1740, Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve crafted a fantastical story of a beautiful girl that looked beyond appearances to find love. A classic in its own right. Beautiful and timeless. So much more to this tale than I could have imagined. Not to mentioned the amazing art and interactive pieces in this book... Love, love, love...
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  • Jaime
    January 1, 1970
    I was surprised, as I read, to find that much of the original Beauty and the Beast tale is different than the Disney version. I don't know why I was surprised because most of Disney's adaptations are rather different than the original tale. Some elements remain intact to the story I grew up knowing, such as Beauty going to stay with the Beast and her love breaking his enchantment. But the elements I loved the most about the story, unfortunately, did not appear in the original tale.Beauty was I was surprised, as I read, to find that much of the original Beauty and the Beast tale is different than the Disney version. I don't know why I was surprised because most of Disney's adaptations are rather different than the original tale. Some elements remain intact to the story I grew up knowing, such as Beauty going to stay with the Beast and her love breaking his enchantment. But the elements I loved the most about the story, unfortunately, did not appear in the original tale.Beauty was kind of a boring character. She didn't have the ferocity and independence that Belle embodies in the Disney film. She kind of just let's things happen instead of being the one to make them happen. She doesn't even love books like Belle, which was super disappointing. The Beast is fine, but the reason he is a beast was drastically different and frustrating. Instead of being vain and being turned into a beast to learn a lesson, he's turned into a beast because he refuses to marry a fairy! And the whole reason Beauty breaks the spell is because another fairy (who is apparently good) made it all happen. She orchestrated the whole thing, which loses the effect that Beauty's love is a deep choice. In addition, we learn that Beauty is also a long lost princess, which takes away from the idea that she's a peasant, or for the most part an ordinary girl, who became a princess.The rose is only present in that Beauty's only request to her father is to bring her back a rose. It's not an enchanted rose that slowly wilts to doom the Beast. The servants aren't moving objects, instead their monkeys? What?! There is, of course, no Gaston, so their isn't any exterior conflict. The biggest conflict is that Beauty misses her family (who is actually not her family and all of them are terrible people).It felt like everything I adored about the story I knew were gone. An ordinary girl learning to love a beast, the surprise that someone could love him, and the prince learning not to be conceited. I have to admit I think I like the Disney version better. The first half of the original tale was decent with a lot of wonderful elements, but the latter half was just a disappointment.The illustrations, however, are gorgeous as ever. I think Minalima did a great job with this adaptation. There are reoccurring golden elements woven throughout. They incorporated roses and thorn patterns throughout as well. The book just seemed to shine with the magic of fairy tales. My only issues was that they clearly used Disney for inspiration with most of the illustrations. The Beast looks pretty similar to the Beast in the animated film instead of matching the descriptions of him in the story. (He has an elephant trunk apparently! Which I want to see that in an illustration!) But I can forgive them because the illustrations of the Beast were absolutely fantastic and my favorite part.Overall, Minalima did a wonderful job lavishly illustrating the original Beauty and the Beast tale. I've loved all three of their classic adaptations so far because they take their time and really do a great job. I look forward to more adaptations by them, and I will treasure the ones I have so far.~I bought Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and chose to review it of my own freewill. All opinions are my own. And yes, I did listen to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack while I wrote this review!~
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  • Michaela (Journey into Books)
    January 1, 1970
    I love the Disney version and I'm always on the look out for Beauty and the Beast retellings as Which is why I can't believe it took me so long to get around to reading the original fairy tale, though I can safely say it did not disappoint. I really joyed the fact some of this is really different to the Disney version as it made me feel like I was reading something almost completely new. I also really loved that this edition is illustrated as they added to my overall enjoyment of the book.
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  • Camilla
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars!
  • Casey
    January 1, 1970
    SPOILER ALERT!!! mild spoils ahead!As hard as it is to say for such a beautiful edition of the timeless tale of Beauty and the Beast, the original story is very bogged down with words.... it doesn't read like a classic fairy tale and quite honestly felt boring some times. The over all story is fine, even if it goes WAY to much into the fairy back story (in this version Beauty is a fairy) it feels like Into the Woods with the continuation after the "happy ending" but with no music. The art on the SPOILER ALERT!!! mild spoils ahead!As hard as it is to say for such a beautiful edition of the timeless tale of Beauty and the Beast, the original story is very bogged down with words.... it doesn't read like a classic fairy tale and quite honestly felt boring some times. The over all story is fine, even if it goes WAY to much into the fairy back story (in this version Beauty is a fairy) it feels like Into the Woods with the continuation after the "happy ending" but with no music. The art on the other hand is BEAUTIFUL! some of it is even interactive so that did make it really enjoyable. The cover and spine look gorgeous on my bookshelf and regardless of my less than enthusiastic joy about the text the art more than makes up for. The art is done by MinaLima studios (the same studio that designed the Harry Potter books) it really gives it an "old/ retro" world feeling. I honestly thought the book had been published years ago but it was only in 2015. While Disney's version is definitely going to live on as the definitive version of this classic tale. Its still worth checking out, if only for the art. The story has its merits but needs some editing, and re-writing. But that's just me.
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  • TheMadHatter
    January 1, 1970
    Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars. Aussie Reader's 2019 September Challenge: In memory of our friend and Aussie Readers member Kim-Marie we would like you to read a book with a red cover (her favourite colour)This story was first published in 1740 and is of course the original story from which the story we now know today has evolved from. The original story has our Beauty and it has the prince who has been cursed to look like a Beast - but the similarities in the story pretty much end there and you see Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars. Aussie Reader's 2019 September Challenge: In memory of our friend and Aussie Readers member Kim-Marie we would like you to read a book with a red cover (her favourite colour)This story was first published in 1740 and is of course the original story from which the story we now know today has evolved from. The original story has our Beauty and it has the prince who has been cursed to look like a Beast - but the similarities in the story pretty much end there and you see just how many liberties have been taken with the story over the years. While the first half of this book I thoroughly enjoyed - I found the second half rather dull especially as the beast's transformation happens about half way through this version and the last several chapters are all concerned with fairies and Beauty's, The Prince's and the Queen's back stories. The version I have is one of those gorgeous hard cover masterpieces with pretty illustrations through-out and that in itself was amazing in terms of giving a fabulous reading experience. I just unfortunately missed Gaston, the household staff and of course the library. I guess I, for better or worse, have been "Disney-ified" :-)
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  • Flor
    January 1, 1970
    -"Do not allow Beauty to depart! Make me, rather, again the Monster I was, for then I shall be her husband. She pledged her word to the Beast and I prefer that happiness to all those she has restored me to"It was nice getting to know the real original story, everything was pretty much the same except for the last third of it, then things turned out on a quite unexpected direction. Overall an enjoyable read, specially with the beauty of this edition! The illustrations and the interactive parts -🥀"Do not allow Beauty to depart! Make me, rather, again the Monster I was, for then I shall be her husband. She pledged her word to the Beast and I prefer that happiness to all those she has restored me to"It was nice getting to know the real original story, everything was pretty much the same except for the last third of it, then things turned out on a quite unexpected direction. Overall an enjoyable read, specially with the beauty of this edition! The illustrations and the interactive parts are wonderful, I'm in love with this edition!
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  • Summer
    January 1, 1970
    This was a re-read of this classic fairy tale, and I think I may have even enjoyed it more this time around. I love how developed the story is, how intricate the curses are, and I love the message of what was meant for evil could be made good. The story also puts an emphasis on gratitude and how important it is, and I actually don't see that a lot, so I really appreciated that.
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  • Zaparenko
    January 1, 1970
    really dubious feelings concerning this book. Maybe because of kind of different story that Disney showed us. Maybe because of the last 2 chapters that were so difficult to read for me
  • Bright Star
    January 1, 1970
    Three stars only for the edition, which is absolutely beautiful and detailed. The story, though... I expected something like the Disney movie, instead it was very, very boring.
  • Grace
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun read. The original story was pretty different from the Disney version, but it wasn’t creepy or weird like some other fairy tales are. A lot more complicated storyline though. Some parts were actually even a bit confusing for me though, because the language is old fashioned and the characters get mixed up , but anyways, good book
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  • Fa6ma
    January 1, 1970
    Without comparing with Disney version. ( which is nothing compared to this one) This book is Fabulous! It covers all the details, you can know all the back ground events and how/why they happened. I liked the fantasy and how fairy magic works. Some parts where short with little details but that's because it is a fantasy story not romance and i like this thing, so it can be for all ages and you can use your own imagination to make things happen as you like. I liked the moving pictures and the Without comparing with Disney version. ( which is nothing compared to this one) This book is Fabulous! It covers all the details, you can know all the back ground events and how/why they happened. I liked the fantasy and how fairy magic works. Some parts where short with little details but that's because it is a fantasy story not romance and i like this thing, so it can be for all ages and you can use your own imagination to make things happen as you like. I liked the moving pictures and the hardcover from outside (the reason why brought it in the first place) The plot is in old English which i liked more because you can live their time and feel the meanings of their words. If you want to know how it is different from Disney story here some differences: -no moving/talking furnitures -beauty can't read -there is no fancy dresses specially the yellow dress-she have 5 sisters and 6 brothers Can't say more because I don't want to spoil you P.s they marry in the half of the book so there is so many events afterwards ... you won't expect it.
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  • Maia Chance
    January 1, 1970
    The original version. So intricate and WEIRD compared to the didactic and kind of blah de Beaumont version. Lots of strange animal motifs (totem-like, really), and some interesting--if not self-reflective--explorations of social class. A must-read for fairy tale enthusiasts.
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  • Tanya Tate
    January 1, 1970
    I'm forever grateful that the Disney version was my first foray into the fairy tale of Beauty of the Beast cause if the original was, I wouldn't like it. It's a lot of things that I really didn't like about the original version which I'm about the list. 1. Beauty being a Mary Sue- I know this was written before the term was even coined but boy our MC is the definition of it. She's very beautiful, kind, kind of naive with every guy falling completely in love with her which pretty much sums up her I'm forever grateful that the Disney version was my first foray into the fairy tale of Beauty of the Beast cause if the original was, I wouldn't like it. It's a lot of things that I really didn't like about the original version which I'm about the list. 1. Beauty being a Mary Sue- I know this was written before the term was even coined but boy our MC is the definition of it. She's very beautiful, kind, kind of naive with every guy falling completely in love with her which pretty much sums up her character. She likes to read but it was kind of glossed over and not really talked about. She's kind of shallow cause she constantly thinks of the beast being just a stupid animal although all he show to her is kindness and intelligence that doesn't befit a normal animal. The story supposed to be an allegory to woman around that time who is showing apprehension to arranged marriages but it doesn't help when you constantly thinks that a person who show you nothing but kindness as inferior you cause they are different than you. That kind of negates everything that I knew the story of BATB to be about. She eventually comes around and loves the beast but without feeling guilty about it. Also the love triangle between her the beast and his human form that she saw in dreams which is my second point. 2. The dreams plotline- OMG!! This probably the #1 reason why I don't like this version at all and I'm so glad that the abridged and other versions/retellings took it out. While Beauty was in the castle, she would have dreams of the human handsome side of the beast which she completely feel in love with in a matter of one night. Yep Insta-love to the max with this. Every night the human side of him is trying to get her to see what's behind the beast which she constantly refused to. This is a problem for me because it negates what beauty and the beast means to me. BATB is all about learning the inner beauty of someone who from the outside may seem monstrous but truly is a good person on the inside. It's also about learning to accept who they are. It's the true definition of "never judge of a book by it's cover." It totally negates that when she totally falls in love with the handsome side of him and gives two cents about the beast. In other versions that I have loved ( cough disney version) they take this out completely which is for the better because it brings a type of complexity that only hiders and not help the story.. They totally focus on the beauty falling in love with the prince in ONLY his beast form which is brings me to my third point. 3. Beauty and the Beast relationship and interaction (honestly lack of) - Now this is where I show that I'm totally spoiled by the Disney version to the max. In the Disney version after the first couple icy interactions, you are shown them having a snowball fight, reading to each other, having lunch and finally the famous the dinner / ballroom scene. You actually have scenes with them interacting, getting to know each other and becoming friends. These scenes actually convinced you that those two are truly in love with each other which the spell is broken at the end.. In the original version, the only interaction you have with them is having dinner which they talk for a few mins although she sort of becomes annoyed when he asked the question the "Will you sleep with me question." and then leaves. That's it for the time she's there. This brother me because it was so many ways they could have interacted with each other in that castle. He could have taken a walk with her to show her all the castle grounds, fed the monkeys with her or attended an opera or play with her. Them doing activities together would have help convinced the readers of those two falling in love with each other.( Although he fell in love with her as soon as he met her. ) I think if she would have more interactions than her thoughts of the handsome person in her dreams would have diminished. She would be getting to know him and realizing that he really is a good person and wouldn’t have to be convinced by her dad to marry him. Here’s the kicker that really ticked me off. The fairy (which I’m going to get to later) told him to have limited interaction with her but to use the dreams instead. I’m like “YOU WANT HER TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THE BEAST TO BREAK THE SPELL NOT THE HUMAN! THAT TOTALLY DEFEATS THE PURPOSE!” Also their relationship consist of stalking since he was watching her while she sleeps and guilt tripping since he told her if she doesn’t come back he will die. You can kind of say that it’s also codependence because he was actually trying to kill himself by starving when she didn’t return back on time. I can’t forget the fact that the whole thing was a set up by the fairy and him to break the spell. ( I’m going to get more to that with the fairy as well.) And people say that it’s all about Stockholm syndrome …Try Stalking, Guilt Tripping, and Codependency for size...Moving on. 4.The “wicked” fairy reason to cursing the prince- Ok Now what to do expect when you asked to marry the boy (for power of course) who saw you as a mother figure when his real mama was away at war? WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? FOR HIM TO SAY YES??? He saw her as a mother figure and that was it.. It was honestly not fair to him when he only saw her as that. Yes, the queen called her ugly and old but it’s not fair to punish him for it. In other versions (Disney and 2014 French), you can understand why he the prince got cursed it was honestly his fault why he did. When you act like an ass to a kind old lady who offered you a rose and asked for a place to stay for the night, than you deserved to get a curse on you. When you’re hunting after a golden doe after the woman you love told you not to anymore which you continue do so which turns out to be her when you killed it, then you deserved to get cursed by her vengeful forest daddy. Turning down someone that you see as a mother figure doesn’t warned getting curse even if your absent mother opens her mouth. 5. The “ good” fairy- Oh boy. If it’s ever was a character than wanted a pat on back for her “ good deeds” the more than the good fairy. Oh goodness! I got tired of her acting as the hero of the story. Pretty much after her sister cursed the prince, she was the one who step in and pretty much dictated the whole situation. From choosing her niece aka the prince cousin to be the one the break the curse to actually setting her father up to come to castle to pick the rose to bring one of his “daughters” back which started everything in motion. It’s like everything she did was to “one up” her evil sister and get revenge on her other sister which was actually Beauty’s real mama. She was also the one who told the prince to not interact with beauty when he was in his beast form but only in his human form. Like I said earlier, it negates the story because they want beauty to fall in love with his beast form so it can break the spell. She was also responsible for bringing beauty to the merchant which she through was her father. You come to find out that the King (the prince Uncle) was actually her dad and her mom was fairy. At this point, the whole story was starting to sound like one big wish fulfillment to max . Beauty is actually a princess and fairy which is whole Deux Ex Machina since the prince mama was very close to not giving her blessing since she through she was inferior birth. She found out she’s actually her niece and everything good to go. One thing that piss me off is when the fairy told the father that she’s not his daughter anymore but the kings.. He raised her as his own for all these years and is the reason why she considers marrying the beast. You can’t just tell him in such a rude matter that he should stop considering her as his own. That’s very inconsiderate to him and to beauty. Ok There’s one thing I did like which was the prince back story which I touched on. I honestly feel like Beauty should have been seeing his backstory in the dreams instead of him telling to her towards the end which made the story longer than it should. You could have killed two birds with one stone which the 2014 version incorporated. Also Beauty’s mother backstory was pretty interesting too. Ok! This thing is almost 1600 words so I’m about to wrap it up. All in All I honestly glad I read it so I can finally understand where some accept of the retelling coming from but I wish I could have enjoyed more. Beauty and the Beast maybe my fave fairy tale which I love reading retellings of it doesn't mean I have to love the original which I didn’t. I recommend the Abridged version since I think the Disney is more based on it.
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  • BellaGBear
    January 1, 1970
    (...)When I came across this book, I thought the original fairytale might be quite different and I was right. Beauty is the youngest daughter of twelve and her father is a wealthy merchant, at the start of the tale. Unfortunately, his house burns down with all of their possessions inside and he loses his wealth. Now, doomed to live small and work for their money, his daughters complain and his sons are forced to do their servants work, except for Beauty, who embraces their new life with (...)When I came across this book, I thought the original fairytale might be quite different and I was right. Beauty is the youngest daughter of twelve and her father is a wealthy merchant, at the start of the tale. Unfortunately, his house burns down with all of their possessions inside and he loses his wealth. Now, doomed to live small and work for their money, his daughters complain and his sons are forced to do their servants work, except for Beauty, who embraces their new life with enthusiasm and optimism. When their father hears of one of his ships arriving in port, which may restore their wealth, he sets out, but he gets lost on his way home. He then finds himself at the gates of an enormous and inviting castle and inside he rests. After he has eaten, he remembers his promise to each of his children, to bring them something they desired. Beauty, modest and content, has only asked for a rose, so her father decides to pick one in the castle gardens for her. But this rose brings all kinds of trouble, when a terrible beast appears and demands payment for his roses. Left without a choice, the merchant agrees to his conditions of returning with one of his daughters within the month, one who has agreed to give herself to the Beast voluntarily.(...)This story was originally written in 1740 by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and it is understandable that the tale has undergone many changes throughout the years. Although I missed the characters of the animated film, I did like the fairytale in its original form. In the fairytale there are no servants who turn into objects, but they are in fact statues, brought back to life after the curse has been lifted. The Beast is just a bit rude, but mainly timid and quite a gentleman in the tale. I did miss the character of Belle as I knew her from the film. In this tale, Beauty is quite annoying: beautiful, forever calm and cheerful, intelligent and somehow surprised at everyone’s jealousy. She’s also vain and a bit of an airhead in the original fairytale. Of course, women were often portrayed as such, and it even says so in the book when Beauty is described: ‘…a strength of mind which is not common in her sex.’ But, I actually really liked Belle the Bookworm from the film, who is mostly clumsy and even foolish at times. This must be the power of Disney: creating characters many can identify with.Interestingly enough, the book is about 200 pages long and about halfway through, the curse is already lifted. What follows then is the background story of both the Beast and of Beauty. In the film, we see hardly any of this, and even though I thought this to be the most boring part of the story, this part does explain a lot that the film doesn’t. The Beast was once a Prince, and his mother was the Queen. After the death of his father, the Queen was often away at battle and a Fairy was left with the young Prince to take care of him. As he grows older, the Fairy falls in love with him, but as she is basically his old governess and he appears to be very young still, the Prince refuses her. This angers the Fairy and that’s when she turns him into the Beast, because the Fairy believes he refuses her out of vanity. The spell can only be broken by a girl, who voluntarily lives with him, even though she fears him, and grows to love him.(...) This is part of the review written by the lovely Thura for Bookworms United. Read the full review here: Beauty and the Beast review
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