A young woman, mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, but carrying within her a good and gracious heart, wins the love of prince with the help of her fairy godmother. The original tale of Cinderella was written by Charles Perrault, inventor of the modern fairy tale and creator of such timeless characters as Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Puss in Boots. It is among the most beautiful and enduring of all stories, and has inspired hundreds of adaptations, including two Disney films and hundreds of plays and books. Charles Perrault's story of a sweet-tempered young girl, forced into servitude by her evil stepmother and stepsisters, who finds true love with a handsome prince (with the help of a fairy godmother), has enchanted readers for more than 300 years. Extract: Once there was a gentleman who married, for his second wife, the proudest and most haughty woman that was ever seen. She had, by a former husband, two daughters of her own, who were, indeed, exactly like her in all things. He had likewise, by another wife, a young daughter, but of unparalleled goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature in the world. No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over but the stepmother began to show herself in her true colors. She could not bear the good qualities of this pretty girl, and the less because they made her own daughters appear the more odious. She employed her in the meanest work of the house. She scoured the dishes, tables, etc., and cleaned madam's chamber, and those of misses, her daughters. She slept in a sorry garret, on a wretched straw bed, while her sisters slept in fine rooms, with floors all inlaid, on beds of the very newest fashion, and where they had looking glasses so large that they could see themselves at their full length from head to foot.
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