“Beauty and the Beast” – we’ve been told it’s a tale as old as time. It is certainly one of the better-known stories. A beautiful girl, a rose, an enchanted castle, and a beast seem to be the more defining elements of the tale, but there are variations of the tale that include evil fairies and back stories for both the beauty and the beast. Retellings of “Beauty and the Beast” are varied – some are true to the original story with added details, a few twist it around to tell the story from the Beast’s perspective, while some mix it up with science fiction elements. One thing we know for sure, any Beauty that finds herself trapped in a castle is pretty darn lucky because castles are notorious for huge libraries and we love libraries.
Beauty and the Beast retellings:
Robin McKinley has written numerous retellings of fairy tales, myths and legends. In fact, McKinley has written two “Beauty and the Beast” remixes. The first, Beauty, is a reinterpretation of the French fairy tale and the second, Rose Daughter, strays from the original tale a bit. Jo Walton compared McKinley’s two Beauties & two Beasts at Tor.com.
McKinley isn’t the only author that’s gone back to “Beauty and the Beast” a second time. Mercedes Lackey, a popular fantasy author, has two books that twist the popular fairy tale, too. Beauty and the Werewolf is the sixth book of Lackey’s Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series that remixes a variety of fairy tales, including “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty”. The Fire Rose is the first book of Lackey’s Elemental Masters series. Both are set in very different fantastical worlds, but still take the original story and remix it.
In Beastly, author Alex Flinn twists the tale around and tells it from the Beast’s perspective in modern Manhattan (with a few chat sessions featuring other fairy tale folks). Donna Jo Napoli has also retold the story from the Beast’s perspective set in Perisa in her novel, Beast.
- Beauty and the Beast by Jan Brett
- Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
- Belle by Cameron Dokey
- Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson
- Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro
- Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donoghue
Further Fairy Tale Fun:
- Beauty and the Beast back on TV?
- Folktexts by Professor Ashliman – A great website filled with edited and translated folklore and mythology, including several versions of “Beauty and the Beast”
- SurLaLune Fairy Tales – This site is filled with great fairy tale info, including modern interpretations of tales, history of the stories, and much more.
- Check out our Pinterest board for even more!