The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood
"The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood" (French: La Belle au bois dormant) is a fairy tale by Charles Perrault. It first appeared in 1695 in a handwritten and illustrated manuscript called Tales of Mother Goose (French: Contes de ma mère l'oye) with "Little Red Riding Hood", "Bluebeard", "Puss in Boots", and "Diamonds and Toads". It was next published in the newspaper Mercure galant in 1696. It was revised, and published in Paris in 1697 by Claude Barbin in Histoires ou contes du temps passé (English: Stories or Tales of Past Times), a collection of eight fairy tales by Perrault. The tale is commonly known as "Sleeping Beauty". It has been adapted to various media including a pantomime by James Robinson Planché, a ballet, and a Disney animated movie.
Tales similar to Perrault's include one from the 14th-century Catalan collection Frayre de Joy e Sor de Placer, the story of Brynhild from the Saga of the Volsungs, "Troylus and Zelladine" from the 16th-century French work Perceforest, "Sun, Moon, and Talia" from Giambattista Basile's Pentamerone (1636), and "Briar Rose" from Children's and Household Tales (1812) by the Brothers Grimm.
A king and queen long for a child. They become the parents of a daughter. They invite seven good fairies to her christening. An evil fairy arrives. She puts a curse on the princess. She says that the princess will one day prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. One of the good fairies softens the curse. Instead of dying, the princess will sleep for a hundred years. A prince will waken her. The king bans spinning wheels to protect the princess. She finds one when she is about sixteen. She pricks her finger on the spindle, and falls into a deep sleep. The good fairy puts everyone in the castle to sleep. She surrounds the castle with a thorny forest. One hundred years pass. A prince finds the sleeping princess. She awakes. They wed, and in time they have two children. The prince goes off to war. His wife and children stay with his mother. She is an ogress. She wants to eat her guests. A servant saves them. The ogress is furious. She decides to put the princess and her children into a cauldron filled with toads and snakes. The prince arrives. His wife and children are saved. The ogress jumps head first into the cauldron and dies.
- Barchilon, Jacques and Henry Pettit. 1960. The Authentic Mother Goose Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes. Denver: Alan Swallow. pp. 12-3.
- Betts, Christopher. 2009. The Complete Fairy Tales. Oxford UP. pp. xiv-xv, 191.
- Opie, Iona and Peter. 1974. The Classic Fairy Tales. Oxford UP. pp. 81-3.
- Zipes, Jack (Ed.) 2000. The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. Oxford UP. pp. 467, 476.