Before Walt Disney's 1950 "Cinderella" movie, there were the Grimm Brothers, who wrote an earlier Cinderella tale in 1857. And before the Grimm Brothers, there was Charles Perroult's "Cinderella," published in 1697. And even before Perroult, there was Giambattista Basile, the Neapolitan poet and courtier whose "Cinderella" story, published in 1634, is the first European version of the tale ever written.
Don't recognize that last name? Well, Giambattista Basile penned the earliest European versions of the Rapunzel and Cinderella tales. He also wrote versions of other fairy tale classics such as "Puss in Boots," "Sleeping Beauty," "Snow White" and "Beauty and the Beast" before the Grimm brothers, Perroult and Disney.
Basile's name still isn't ringing a bell? Maybe this newest translation will change that.
Nancy Canepa, associate professor at Dartmouth College.
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