The story of Beauty and the Beast has been around for centuries in both written and oral form, and more recently in film and video. Many experts trace similarities back to the stories of Cupid and Psyche, Oedipus and Apuleius’ The Golden Ass of the second century A.D. The tale was first collected in Gianfranceso Straparola’s Le piacevolo notti 1550-53. The earliest French version is an ancient Basque tale where the father was a king and the beast a serpent. Charles Perrault popularized the fairy tale with his collection Contes de ma mere l’oye in 1697. The 17th century Pentamerone is also said to include similar tales. The first truly similar tale to the one we know today was published in 1740 by Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Gallon de Villeneuve as part of a collection of stories; La jeune Amériquaine et les Contes Marins.
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