In 2020, Prof. Aurora Wolfgang published her edition and translation of “Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve: Beauty and the Beast: The Original story” in the series “The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series,” with the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Villeneuve, the little-known author of Beauty and the Beast, was a successful novelist and fairytale writer in mid eighteenth-century France. While her novels are rarely read today, her compelling fairy tale has become universally recognized, even if her authorship of it is not. This edition is the first integral English translation of Villeneuve’s original tale. The introduction seeks to illuminate the publication of Beauty and the Beast in its historical and literary context, and brings to life the dynamic female characters that first populated this enchanting tale: the courageous Beauty, the Fairy Queen, the Amazon Queen, the Lady Fairy, and the powerful, but mischievous elderly fairy.