Villeneuve’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’

In Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s “The Story of Beauty and the Beast,” – which was the original version of the tale – the prince was not turned into a beast for being selfish and unloving, but because he refused to marry his evil fairy godmother. Likewise, Beauty’s challenge in understanding the beast was not his volatile temperament but his stupidity, for in beast form he could not express himself intelligently.

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