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Children's Literature Collection
Frequently Asked Questions about Cinderella

What is the origin of the Cinderella tale? or, Who wrote Cinderella?

According to fairy tale scholars Iona and Peter Opie, authors of The Classic Fairy Tales, "Where the story of Cinderella originated is unknown.. [T]he earliest datable version of the Cinderella story anywhere in the world occurs in a Chinese book written about 850-860 AD. The earliest European version of tale was published in Italy in 1634 according to the Opie's--sixty-three year's before Perrault introduced the story familiar to most Americans, "Cinderella, or The Tale of the Little Glass Slipper" in his Histories or Tales of Past Times in 1697.

How many Cinderella stories are there?

More than 700 tales have been collected from around the world, according to the Opies. See our online Multicultural Cinderella database for a list of many modern retellings.

Where can I find out more information about the tale?

As mentioned The Classic Fairy Tale by Iona and Peter Opie, published in various editions by Oxford University Press, is an excellent place to start learning more about the history of the Cinderella tale and how it came into English folklore. The tale is also discussed in many other sources.

Some of these references are listed in our Multicultural Cinderella database. Others can be accessed from your local public or school library by using the subject heading Fairy Tales - History and Criticism. A few references might be found using the subject heading Cinderella (tale) - History and Criticism but this is a less used term






The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
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