Book: The Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Release Date: 1740
Tags: Classics / Fairy Tale / Original Story / 1700s / Beast
As many I am familiar first with the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast where Belle is a gentle little bookworm who steals people’s hearts. But this Disney version is based on The Beauty and the Beast by Gabriella-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, published in 1740. That there is going to be some changes seems to be clear.
The story starts us off with a Merchant with many children who lost his wealth. They moved to a tiny cottage in the forest where his children, especially his daughters, had a hard time accepting their new fate. All but one. She was called by many Beauty.
Beauty is quite the obnoxious character. She doesn’t have another name in the book. She is pretty and of course extremely stands out from her sisters who are of course super jealous of her. And every guy falls for her right away. Gag. I didn’t see anything super special about her. I found it hard to like her myself, even more so when she falls in love with a figure in her dreams and seems disgusted by the beast for what he looks like.
The main story was okay except for the ending. We get the story then told through the princes eyes and the fairies eyes. And there is a twist that becomes extremely farfetched. It didn’t work and I am so glad that this was cut out of the Disney version.
So the story was disappointing. I read the story in an edition designed by MinaLima. I can tell you that even though the story might not be worth it to read, this edition certainly is. It is so stunning with many different elements and details throughout the book. There are maps, flaps and dials.
Each chapter starts with a full colored illustrated scene from the chapter, the number illustrated, the title and a quote from the chapter. It is stunning to look at.
The interactive elements are fun. There are maps you can unfold. Dials to show which dresses Beauty could pick from. But also like the one above when Beauty meets the birds. You can pull the yellow big one and it shows the birds in the cage. It is a lot of fun to discover the elements.
There aren’t just illustrations with the chapter starts but also throughout the story. All of them are fully colored. The style and the coloring works so incredibly well with this classic older tale.