Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--Perrault's Cinderella

In honor of our "trip" to France with Around the World in 12 Dishes, I thought we would feature Charles Perrault's Cinderella. When I introduced this series I gave a little history on Perrault's version. The version I shared however was more of the Disney one that I grew up with rather than Perrault's.  Before going on the story, we will talk a bit about France.
Location of  Metropolitan France  (dark green)– in Europe  (green & dark grey)– in the European Union  (green)  —  [Legend]
France is located in Western Europe with several overseas territories and regions. It is the largest country in Western Europe and the third largest throughout Europe. It has the nickname l'Hexagone (the hexagon) because of its shape. France is a developed country with the world's fifth largest economy. It is the wealthiest country in Europe. French residents have the longest life expectancy, a high standard of living including the best health care according to World Health Organization and a high level of public education. It is also the most visited country in the world with 79.5 million tourists a year. (Source)
The translation of Cinderella I am using came from The Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault by Neil Philip and Nicoletta Simborowski. We had taken this out to get some French stories to go with our French dishes. It is the first time I had read a real Perrault version.

The story begins with a man with a young daughter of his own marrying a haughty, stuck-up woman who has two daughters exactly like her. The woman takes a dislike to the man's daughter since she is so good and beautiful and it makes her daughters look even worse. She gives the man's daughter all of the worst household chores. The girl does them all without complaint. She knows her father would scold her for complaining. When she finishes her work she would retire to the chimney, so her stepsisters took to calling her Cinderbutt or Cinderella. (The younger one called her Cinderella since she was not quite as mean as her elder sister). Cinderella was also given a room in the attic on a shabby mattress while her stepsisters have beautiful bedrooms with the latest beds.

One day  the prince invites the stepsisters to a ball.  They are so excited and try on many gowns and outfits to decide what to wear. Cinderella offered to do their hair for them and of course they accepted. They teased her while she did their hair by asking her if she would like to go to the ball. Once they left, she watched them until they were out of sight and then she began to weep. Her godmother came by and asked why she was weeping. She was crying too hard to tell her, so her godmother asked if it was that she wanted to go to the ball. The godmother told her she would send her. She sent Cinderella to get a pumpkin. Cinderella looked for the finest pumpkin she could find. The godmother hollowed it out and then tapped it with her wand (she was a fairy afterall) and it changed into a beautiful gilded carriage. She changed mice into horses, a rat into a coachman and lizards into footman. Then she changed Cinderella's dress into a beautiful gown made from silver and gold fabric. She warned Cinderella that she must leave by midnight or everything would be back to what it was. She promised and went off to the ball.

The prince as told a princess no one knew arrived and he went at once to greet her. He even helped her out of the coach. Cinderella made quite the entrance on the prince's arm. Everyone stopped what they were doing to stare at her beauty. She was given a seat next to the prince and he danced with her as well. She even took time to go talk to her stepsisters, but they did not recognize her. She left before midnight and was telling her godmother about the ball and how the prince asked her to come the next evening as well when her stepsisters came home. They were so excited to tell her about the beautiful mysterious princess. 

The next evening the stepsisters went off to the ball and then Cinderella went off in a gown even more beautiful than the one the night before. The prince did not leave her side all evening and she was having so much fun she lost track of time until she heard the first chime of midnight. She ran out and lost one of her glass slippers.

The sisters came home and told her again about the mysterious princess and how upset the prince was after she left. A few days later, there was a trumpeted announcement that the prince would marry the woman whose foot fit the glass slipper. After trying it on all the princesses, duchesses, etc., the servant came to the stepsisters. They tried to force their foot into it, but could not. Laughing Cinderella asked to try it on. The servant noticed her beauty and said she should. Of course it slipped right on. Her stepsisters were shocked and even more so when she pulled out its mate from her pocket. They begged her forgiveness for how they mistreated her and she forgave them. She even brought them to the palace with her and had them marry lords. The prince and Cinderella were also married the same day.

For crafts I made Hazel a clothespin doll and shared again some of the pictures we colored the other day.


  1. Love the clothespin princess! I'm really enjoying your fairy tale series; I still love to read them all even as an adult.

    On an unrelated note, I think the comment above mine may be spam.

    1. Thank you, Erin!! I know we have been really enjoying reading the stories and learning about other cultures through them.

  2. What a pretty princess! I think our library has a collection of princess books from around the world.

  3. Awesome, great collection I'd love to say


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