Cinderella


Cinderella
   The oldest known version of this famous European and Asiatic *fairytale is Chinese, from about ad 850, translated by Arthur Waley (Folk-Lore 58 (1947), 226-38); but the story as it is now known is always based on *Perrault's French 'Cendrillon' (1697), translated into English by Robert Samber (1729).
   Native English versions probably once existed, for a Scottish one, 'Rashin Coatie', discovered by Andrew *Lang in 1878, is clearly independent of Perrault - the heroine is helped by a magical 'little red calf' which enables her to appear in church three times at Christmas in fine clothes and satin slippers, instead of her ugly cloak of rushes; a prince sees her and tries to catch her as she slips out before the service ends. Twentieth-century versions have been found among Gypsies in Lancashire and Scotland (Philip, 1989: 60-9, 161-74). *Cap o' Rushes is also related, though less closely.
   ■ See Marian Roalfe Cox, Cinderella: Three Hundred and Forty-Five Variants of Cinderella, Catskin, and Cap o' Rushes (1893), and Anna Birgitta Rooth, The Cinderella Cycle (1951). Neil Philip's The Cinderella Story (1989) gives 24 versions with commentary, including the British Gypsy ones. Per-rault's text is in Philip, pp. 10-16; also in Opie and Opie, 1974: 117-27.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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