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Published to coincide with Disney’s live-action 3D musical film
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, starring Emma Watson

Classic Tales About Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World


“A rich, intriguing volume highly recommended for fairy tale fans.”

Fairy tales and folklore are a deep well from which both literary and popular culture continually draw; we look to these stories for entertainment and guidance from the first years of childhood through the last years of old age. Penguin Classics has teamed up again with the acclaimed Harvard fairytale scholar Maria Tatar to present the remarkable collection BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Classic Tales About Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World (Penguin Classics; On sale March 7, 2017; $16.00; ISBN: 9780143111696), which features one of our most beloved and elemental fairy tales in versions from across the centuries and around the world.

Perhaps no fairy tale is as widely known as BEAUTY AND THE BEAST—and perhaps no fairy tale exists in as many variations. To some, it is a love story, demonstrating the transformative power of compassion; to others, it is a cautionary tale, helping sort out sexual politics, marital roles, and feelings of ostracism. Nearly every culture tells the story in one fashion or another. From Cupid and Psyche to India’s Snake Bride to South Africa’s “Story of Five Heads,” the partnering of beasts and beauties, of humans and animals in all their variety—cats, dogs, frogs, goats, lizards, bears, tortoises, monkeys, cranes, warthogs—has beguiled us for thousands of years, mapping the cultural contradictions that riddle every romantic relationship.

In this fascinating volume, preeminent fairy tale scholar Maria Tatar brings together tales from ancient times to the present and from a wide variety of cultures, highlighting the continuities and the range of themes in a fairy tale that has been used both to keep young women in their place and to encourage them to rebel, and that has entertained adults and children alike. With fresh commentary, she shows us what animals and monsters, both male and female, tell us about ourselves, and about the transformative power of empathy.

Prefacing each story with an introduction that establishes its place within culture and within the anthology, Tatar provides not only an entertaining collection but also a way to appreciate how cultures around the world have used animals in storytelling to understand those who are different or foreign or otherwise outside of their communities.

About the Editor
Maria Tatar is the John L. Loeb Professor of Folklore and Mythology and Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. She is the author of many acclaimed books, as well as the editor and translator of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition, The Grimm Reader, and The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Classic Tales About Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World
Maria Tatar ▪ Penguin Classics ▪ $16.00
On sale March 7, 2017 ▪ ISBN: 9780143111696

To win your own copy of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Classic Tales About Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World edited by Maria Tatar, please send an email to with “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST” as the subject.

You must include your U.S. street address in your email.

All entries must be received by March 7, 2017. One (1) name will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age in the United States only. Your prize will be sent by Penguin Classics.

One entry per email address. Subscribers to the monthly newsletter earn an extra entry into every contest. Follow this blog to earn another entry into every contest. Winners may win only one time per year (365 days) for contests with prizes of more than one book. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone.

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