Tag Archives: Cinderella

Five Things You Didn’t Know About the Cinderella Story

Written by Andrea Cefalo, author of The Fairytale Keeper series

While Cinderella is one of the most widely known tales, here are a few facts about it that are not…

1.  From Russia to India and Vietnam to Scotland, nations from all over the world have their own traditional telling of the Cinderella story.  A few examples of titles are The Story of Tam and Cam (Vietnam), Baba Yaga (Russia), The Saddleslut (Greece),  Pepelyouga (Serbia), Ashey Pelt (Ireland), and Conkiajgharuna (Georgia).

2. Many Native American tribes fused the European Cinderella with their own legends to create unique versions of the tale.  For example, Mi’kmaq Native Americans combined the French Cinderella with their own legends to come up with a version called The Invisible One.  Some other Native American versions include The Turkey Herd and The Rough-Faced Girl.

 3.  The tale was first recorded in 9th century China by Tuan Che’ng-shih, but the tone of the tale suggests it was already a well-known story to its readers.  That makes the story at least 1,140 years old!

4.  The next recording didn’t come until over eight hundred years later when Charles Perrault of France published it in 1697.  This version is the one Americans are most familiar with. That’s probably because it is kinder than most other versions which result in the maiming or killing of the wicked stepsisters in the end.

5.  There are approximately 1,500 versions of the tale when one includes retellings, movies, musicals, operas, and picture books!

Resources:

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html

http://www.native-languages.org/oochigeas.htm

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/cinderella/history.html

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Grimm’s Cinderella: A Far Cry from Disney

Andrea CefaloAndrea Cefalo is a Medieval fiction author and Medieval history blogger. Her debut novel, The Fairytale Keeper,  was a quarter-finalist in Amazon’s 2013 Breakthrough Novel Contest. The sequel–The Countess’s Captive—was published earlier this year.  She regularly posts about Medieval history on Facebook and Twitter.

CinderellaAs a Millenial, I was raised on Disney-fied versions of Grimm’s most famous fairytales. I loved these innocent tales with their neat, happy endings…when I was six.  As I got older,  I craved darker tales.  It wasn’t until college that I bought a leather-bound volume of Grimm’s fairytales and fell in love.

So how exactly is Grimm’s Cinderella different than Disney’s?


Aschenputal1. Not just a slave

Not only does Cinderella’s stepmother force her to tend the fires, she also tosses Cinderella’s supper of peas into the hearth, forcing her to eat the dirty peas or starve. This is how she earns her monicker.


2.
No fairy godmother

When Cinderella wants to go to the ball, there are no furry friends to help her make a dress and a fairy godmother doesn’t come to her rescue. Cinderella asks her stepmother if she can go to the ball. Her wicked stepmother says that Cinderella can go…if she can find and eat all the peas she tosses into the ashes. Birds swoop in to help Cinderella eat the peas, but the stepmother doesn’t hold up her end of the bargain. The birds lead Cinderella the to the beautiful gown that she wears to the ball. It’s hanging on a tree above her mother’s grave.  Creepy.

3. Amputations and Eye-Gougings Galore

In order to fit their gangly feet into Cinderella’s dainty slipper, the stepsisters slice off parts of their own feet. Cinderella knows she has the shoe, but stands idly by and watches the amputations. How’s that for vengeance? But there’s more. For their cruelty to Cinderella, a bird pecks out the stepsisters’ eyes. (Read Grimm’s version of Cinderella)

So if you’re sick of Poe and in desperate need of some dark Victorian Romanticism, I highly recommend giving Grimm’s fairytales a read.  Once you’ve finished, check out The Fairytale Keeper and The Countess’ Captive to see how I’ve incorporated this famous fairytale into my award-winning Medieval fiction series.