Beauty and the Beast is one of the world’s most famous and best-loved romances because we are all like Belle – or the Beast.
The fairy tale deals with the universal themes of love, community, sacrifice, identity and exile.
Belle sacrifices to save her family and the Beast is literally changed by her love. At first, the Beast is angry and misunderstood, but she sees beyond his outer shell. Lofty ideas that capture my heart.
But I have also loved Beauty and the Beast for years — as a child, when I nearly swooned to think about the poor Beast asking Belle to marry him every night at dinner – it was so romantic; in high school, when I watched the almost silent movie version by Jean Cocteau and realized the parallels to Cupid and Psyche with the idea of the hidden or disguised lover; and later, when I read an English translation of the original French fairy tale by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (published in 1740), and the abridged and rewritten version by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (published in 1756), which would have been the version popular in Jane Austen’s day.
All of this conjured up possibilities for stories, and it was enjoyable and very natural to highlight these themes in a fairy tale version of Pride and Prejudice since of course Pride and Prejudice is my favorite, and Darcy is misunderstood with Elizabeth’s responses changing him in the original story. However, I did decide to make my Beast scarred and bitter rather than to make him an actual creature. I wanted the fairy magic to be subtle.
I hope you will check out my Jane Austen fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast.
|A Jane Austen fairy tale.
Or you can start reading for free here.
Beautiful Elizabeth Bennet thinks Mr. Darcy is a Beast – he is a proud, angry man, scarred by life – and she would never consent to living at his home, sacrificing her freedom, if her family’s survival was not at stake. Her only solace is the handsome man she dreams of every night.
After years of searching, Darcy has found the one woman he wants and he will ask her every night to marry him, until she says yes.