What You Don’t Know About Beauty and the Beast:
Some backstory: due to this little discussion, I was considering writing a continuation/expansion of Beauty and the Beast. I read up on it and found out everything I thought I knew about it was wrong.
-It was created by one, singular, female author in 1740: Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
-It is not a retelling of a pervasive folklore like Perrault’s Cinderella, for example. It was influenced by folklore but is an original story and is very “post” the fairy tales you might be familiar with. The story is also influenced by women who gathered together and told each other revisions of fairy tales in Parisian salons.
-It’s over 100 pages long
-Though written simply and in a straightforward manner, the characters have personalities and are much more complex in their emotions than a normal folkloric tale. They behave in a diverse and fairly realistic manner to their situations. The Beast’s mother in particular is a complex woman, protective of her son and a capable military leader but not progressive in her attitude towards marrying below your station.
-Women are overwhelmingly the masters of the plot and outnumber the men in number and priority.
Female players include:
A nice Fairy
A jerk Fairy (called Mother of the Seasons)
The Queen of the Fairies
A Fairy-who-is-a-Queen (these are different)
A Queen/the Beast’s mother
Belle’s shallow (though fairly realistically so) sisters who are treated as a collective
-It contains considerable world-building. Fairy language, Fairy law, Fairy influence over monarchies, Fairy hierarchy, Fairy magic are all things she depicts. (eat your heart out, Tolkien fans).
-The curse is broken halfway through the book. The rest is devoted to comments on class, monarchy, marrying for love vs. status, appropriate conditions for love, and marrying below your station among other things.
-The Beast is cursed to punish his mother.
-The book’s plot turns out to be entirely due to the machinations of The Mother of the Seasons and the long-game trap/revenge story orchestrated by the Nice Fairy to defeat The Mother of the Seasons Fairy.
-The book takes place in a specific time period rather than in a nebulous “before-time”, somewhere, as I figure, between 1669 to the early 1700s. It might even be contemporaneous to when it was published. It references the age piracy, revolutions, the merchant class, the presence of slavery, Belle watching comedies, operas, and plays the Fair of St. Germain, and a Janissary battle.
-The Beast’s Queen mother led troops into battle for several years, put down a revolt and defeated an encroaching enemy monarch.
And this is only a partial list.
If you’d like to read the original version by Madame de Villeneuve, it’s collected in a book by J. R. Blanche.
It’s available for free:
Archive.org (they don’t mention her name in the author list but it’s there)
LOTR parody of Ke$sha’s “Die Young”
“Female job applicants with children are 44 percent less likely to be hired for a job than are childless women with similar qualifications. Fathers, by contrast, are 19 percent MORE likely to be hired than are comparably qualified men without children.”—
"Getting a Job: Is there a Motherhood Penalty?" American Journal of Sociology, 2007 (via checkprivilege)
The answer to the question is yes.
What a beautiful sentiment. I think, maybe, I could live like that. Being grateful for the years I’ve had rather than regretting a youth that ended too soon.
Coin of the last Anglo-Saxon king of England:
A silver penny of King Harold II, PAX type, by the moneyer Oswold at the Lewes mint, struck January-October 1066.
The Anglo-Saxon rule of England ended abruptly at the Battle of Hastings, when a Norman arrow struck King Harold II in the eye, killing him on the field. The resulting Norman Conquest ushered in an entirely new era, dominated by Frenchmen descended from earlier Viking invaders.
This coin shows the crowned and bearded king facing left with a scepter within the inscription +HALOL D REX ANG. On the reverse is a central circle within a horizontal register and PAX; +OZPOLD ON LEPEEI inscribed around it.
Breathtaking Photos of Enchanted Landscapes
- Dead Horse Mill, Crystal, Colorado, United States (source)
- Mont Saint, Michel, France (source)
- Fairytale Tree Tunnel, Ireland (source)
- Lake Brienz, Switzerland (source)
- Grand Canyon Skywalk, Arizona, United States (source)
- Maroon Bells, Colorado, United States (source)
- Forest Bridge, Japan (source)
- Enchanted Forest, Bavaria, Germany (source)
- Bend in the Yangtze River, China (source)
- The Matterhorn towering over the village of Zermatt, Swiss Alps (source - © Brian Jannsen)
It is December 6th, and I remember.
I was 13 years old when Marc Lépine opened fire and murdered 14 women for being at engineering school when he wasn’t. He blamed feminism for the situation he was in, and murdered these women for being in non-traditional jobs, for being there.
Every year, the memorials I go to are different. Some are quiet - I remember several winters in the snow, holding candles and reciting names like a talisman against violence.
Geneviève Bergeron, 21 years old. Hélène Colgan, 24 years old. Nathalie Croteau, 24 years old.
When I was younger, they seemed impossibly mature and sophisticated. I used to imagine them laughing and enjoying university, cut down without warning. Now that I’m 35, they seem so young, and I wonder if they were afraid.” —
Self reblog from last year. Still worth reading. Still remembering.
Today is the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.
I will not forget.