Beauty and the Beast

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What to expect

Beauty and the Beast is a traditional fairy tale in which an ugly beast must earn the true love of a beautiful girl to free him from the spell of an evil fairy. The first published version was written by French author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in the middle 18th century. It was a novel-length story intended for adult readers and addressing the issues of the marriage system of the day in which women had no right to choose their husband or to refuse to marry. Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont simplified and shortened Villeneuve’s work and published it in a magazine for young ladies. The abridged version became more successful, and Madame de Beaumont is regarded now as the author of the classic story.

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