Beauty and the Beast from Laughing Elephant

Beauty and the Beast: An Illustrated Classic

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The Beauty and the Beast story, French in origin, is one of the newer of the classic fairy tales. The first version of it dates from the mid-eighteenth century, though the tale of a beautiful woman forced by circumstance into romantic proximity to an ugly creature occurs throughout folklore and literature (Cupid and Psyche, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, King Kong).

H.M. Brock’s version of "Beauty and the Beast" (1914) is a sumptuous and romantic one. Brock’s figures are lavishly clothed, Beauty is exquisite, and even the Beast is a rather handsome lion. Beast’s castle is so huge and dazzling, his gardens are so lavish and even his servants (who are exotic animals) are so beautifully dressed that one can’t imagine why Beauty would ever want to leave.

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