Beauty and The Beast is a classic fairy tale steeped in history that has been told the world over. It is one of Pook Press’s most popular tales and we thought this an ideal time of year to highlight the best of our collection. These books make perfect gifts for lovers of the story, or even for yourself. Here’s the inside scoop on three of our favourite Beauty the Beast books – there’s a version for everyone.
Madame de Villeneuve’s Original Beauty and the Beast – Illustrated by Edward Corbould and Brothers Dalziel
This novella-length tale is the original Beauty and the Beast in its first-ever English translation. Villeneuve’s Original Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et La Bête) was written in 1740 in the aristocratic salons of France, and translated into English by J. R Planché. Although it contains similar themes and plots to the recent editions of the tale, this rich piece of storytelling explores the backstories of both Belle and the Beast.
Discover the real story of a prince who loses his father at a young age, whose mother must wage war to defend his kingdom, and how he falls under a curse which transforms him into a beast. Belle’s story reveals her true parentage from riches to rags story. And how, when her life is under threat, she is hidden under a false sense of identity for protection. Originally published in 1858, this volume contains two beautiful black and white engravings by Edward Corbould and the Brothers Dalziel.
He was terribly alarmed upon perceiving at his side a horrible beast, which, with an air of fury, laid upon his neck a kind of trunk, resembling an elephant’s, and said, with a terrific voice…”
The Beauty and the Beast Story – and Other Tales of Love in Unexpected Places (Origins of Fairy Tales from Around the World)
This edition of Beauty and the Beast is a collection of stories from all over the world. This volume houses seven versions of the well-loved tale, exploring its past to reveal its origins. With the oldest tale dating back to Roman Times, dive into the rich and cultural history of ancient love stories from the days of old. From the ancient love story of ‘Cupid and Psych’ and the winged snake with three heads from Russia to the Italian fire-breathing dragon and the classic French tale of ‘La Belle et La Bête’. With these stories accompanied by illustrations by some of the best artists from The Golden Age of Illustration, it is full to the brim with wonder and magic. Exploring the phenomenon that similar stories appear again and again in different cultures, it also includes an in-depth introduction to fairy tales too.
- Cupid and Psyche – A Roman Tale by Apuleius
- La Belle et La Bête – A French Tale by Leprince de Beaumont
- Zelinda and the Monster – An Italian Tale by Thomas Crane
- The Maiden and the Beast – A Portuguese Tale by Zófimo Consiglieri Pedroso
- Beauty and the Beast – An English Tale by Andrew Lang
- The Fairy Serpent – A Chinese Tale by Adele M. Fielde
- The Enchanted Tsarévich – A Russian Tale by Leonard Magnus
Beauty and the Beast and Other Stories – Illustrated by John Hassall
This version of Beauty and the Beast is shorter than the editions mentioned above and much more akin to the more recent versions. The striking illustration by John Hassall depicts the Beast as a bear wearing a crown around his neck. It also features spiteful sisters that wish death upon Beauty through jealousy of her riches, and a white rose that saves the Beast. A sweet and simple version of the famous tale, this book also features the stories ‘Jack and the Giant-Killer’, and ‘The Three Little Pigs.’ All decorated with John Hassall’s bold and charming black-and-white line drawings, as well as several colour plates.
You have saved me, my princess,” said he, “for I was condemned by a wicked fairy to take the form of a beast until a maiden should give me a white rose and promise to marry me.”
Beauty and the Beast and Other Stories – Illustrated by John Hassall contains three classics of the fairy tale genre: ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Jack the Giant-Killer’, and ‘The Three Little Pigs.’