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)
YES! All this! Why it’s always been one of my favorite old-timey lady-authored books on sheer principle.
Relevant to my interests
Rape, By The Numbers.
everyone needs to see this graphic
I linked this to my guy friends who always use the excuse of “What about the false reports? It’s not fair that innocent men are accused of a crime they didn’t commit”
2 out of 1000. 0.02% Of all rapes are false.
this is the most romantic thing i’ve seen all day
No shit. That tom cat was like:
"This thorn invested wall means nothing."
"I will gladly walk on it a thousand times over, if that means I could be with you, my lady."
and the lady cat was all:
"My brave darling."
OOOPS MY HAND SLIPPED!!
Suddenly my muse insisted me to draw the personification version of the last pic, and who am I to reject inspiration when it comes so willingly to me? At least this will help with the artblock issue I currently have to deal with.
Russian imperial era inspired because hot damn.
Note: I tried google reverse image (and other reverse image search engines) those photos and came up with nothing. I wish I knew the original photographer because I want to love hug him/her so hard for capturing such inspiring moments.
OMG that’s the cutest thing ever and the best courtly love ah so brilliant.
Few romantic heroes could do better.
I don’t post cats often but that illustration.
Over 50% of the American population believes it should be illegal for women to keep their own name on marriage
ILLEGAL. Not just that you “should” change your name. But that it should be ILLEGAL for you not to do so.
“Innocent tradition” my ass. No social pressure my ass.
what the fuck