A big thank you to everyone who took the time to review Sleeping Beauty! Here’s the first short: The Starting Point It takes a look at young Briar and Isaia’s relationship.
Now, onto the research!
My rendition of Sleeping Beauty is a little different from all my other stories, because it is a combination of two fairy tales: Sleeping Beauty, and Little Briar Rose. Normally I only spend one post that looks at the original fairy tale and the authors, but today I want to focus specifically on the origins because they are so fascinating. But worry not–I’m still going to rip the original fairy tale to shreds in another post!
If I’m being picky, my Sleeping Beauty was based on more than two fairy tales, because the Brothers Grimm actually collected quite a few stories that all share elements of sleeping beauty, but the classic one that inspired Disney’s sleeping beauty, and the story I drew the most from, is Little Briar Rose. The Brothers Grimm published their first collection of fairy tales in 1812, and became the creators of folklore studies. Little Briar Rose was one of the many orally told stories they collected, and they were able to trace its origins to Charles Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty–which we will jump into below. The story shares the same basic plot as Perrault’s story, however, it is essentially chopped in half, and also cleaned up a bit.
Moving on! Sleeping Beauty was published in French by Charles Perrault in 1697. (Perrault’s name might sound familiar, as he also published versions of Puss in Boots and Cinderella.) Though Perrault crafted the most recognizable elements of sleeping beauty as we know it today, he actually based his story on the a fairy tale written by an Italian poet, Giambattista Basile. The story–which was published in 1634, after Basile died–was called Sun, Moon, and Talia.
Sun, Moon, and Tailia, in turn, was based off several folk stories–including a chapter/episode of a lyrical poetry series titled Perceforest that was collected in the early 1300s. The specific sleeping beauty chapter is titled Histoire de Troïlus et de Zellandine, and is considered the first of its kind–its kind being the sleeping princess stories as there are quite a few.
Sleeping Beauty is a lot like Wild Swans in that there are a lot of variations out there that are considered separate stories, but they all fall under one type.
In the next post we’ll actually dive into the original story, but it is worth mentioning that Perrault–and as a result the Brothers Grimm–removed some of the ickier elements that are included in Sun, Moon, and Talia, and Perceforest. (The biggest issue being the sleezebag of a prince who finds the sleeping princess.)
Until the next post, I hope you all enjoy the extra! Thanks for reading, Champions!