Worldsmith Roundtable – Beauty and the Beast

Typically for Worldsmith Roundtable, we’d invite a creator over to the trading post to chat about their world. Sadly, the creator of my most favorite tale is long gone. I am most certainly speaking of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, said to be the creator of the first iteration of Beauty and the Beast.

Schmincke watercolor on Fabriano Softpress paper, digital clean up, lines and background

You know you have a good tale by the number of times it’s been redone. I have personally taken in no less than 10 versions of this story, not counting multiple iterations from the same company. And there are many more than that!

The tale of first impressions is compelling. Also used in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (another favorite that has many strong similarities to this French classic), it is an effective narrative device because, as an audience, we love to hate the villain. But then we are surprised as our opinion of them is forced to change as we come to understand them better.

Due to the magic of the internet, you can now read an archived scan of the original story. It’s even illustrated!