“Sleeping Beauty” (French: La Belle au bois dormant), or “Little Briar Rose” (German: Dornröschen), also titled in English as “The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods“, is a classic fairy tale about a princess who is cursed to sleep for a hundred years by an evil fairy, to be awakened by a handsome prince at the end of them. The good fairy, realizing that the princess would be frightened if alone when she awakens, uses her wand to put every living person and animal in the palace asleep, to awaken when the princess does.
The earliest known version of the story is found in the narrative Perceforest, composed between 1330 and 1344. The tale was first published by Giambattista Basile in his collection of tales titled The Pentamerone (published posthumously in 1634). Basile’s version was later adapted and published by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697. The version that was later collected and printed by the Brothers Grimm was an orally transmitted version of the literary tale published by Perrault.
The Aarne-Thompson classification system for folktales classifies “Sleeping Beauty” as being a 410 tale type, meaning it includes a princess who is forced into an enchanted sleep and is later awakened reversing the magic placed upon her. The story has been adapted many times throughout history and has continued to be retold by modern storytellers throughout various media.
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