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Cinderella is a fairy tale about a girl of the same name. The best-known version was written by the French author, Charles Perrault in 1697, based on a common folk tale. Forced into a life of domestic servitude by her wicked stepmother and wicked stepsisters, Cinderella takes the help of a fairy godmother to attend a royal ball and attract the attention of the handsome prince.

Unfortunately, the magic comes to an end at the first stroke of midnight. At that point, she flees, leaving behind a glass (1) slipper which the prince finds. He declares that he will marry only the girl whose petite foot fits into the slipper.

Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters (2) conspire to win the prince's hand for one of them. In the original, bloodier version, the first stepsister fits into the slipper by cutting off a toe. But a magical bird tells the prince to notice the blood dripping from the slipper, and he returns the false stepsister to her mother. The second stepsister fits into the slipper by cutting off her heel. But the same bird gives her away.

Finally, Cinderella appears and fits into the slipper. In some versions, she has kept its twin in her pocket.

The evil stepsisters are rewarded by having their eyes pecked out by crows.

(1) It is often claimed that the "glass slipper" (pantoufle de verre) is a mistranslation of the French "fur slipper" (pantoufle de vair). This is not true: the glass slipper appears as such in Perrault's tale. In an older Chinese version, the slipper is gold.

(2) Sometimes it is reduced just to stepsisters.

The subject of Cinderella is very common for British pantomimes. In the pantomime form Cinderella's father (Baron Hardup) is under the thumb of the stepmother. There are added characters such as Buttons (Baron Hardup's servant, and Cinderella's friend) and Dandini (the Prince's right-hand man). The fairy Godmother must magically create a coach (from a pumpkin), footmen (from mice) and a beautiful dress for Cinderella in order for her to go to the ball. Her traditional line "Cinderella, you shall go to the ball!" has passed into common usage.

The story of "Cinderella" has formed the basis of many works:


Ballet: Musical Comedy: Film:

In philatelic usage, a cinderella is a label resembling a regular postage stamp, but that is not valid for prepayment of postage. See also artistamp.
Cinderella is a hard rock band that had their first major release in 1986.

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