The Princess and the Pea

The Princess and the Pea

Infobox Book |
name = The Princess and the Pea
title_orig = Prinsessen på ærten
translator = Charles Boner


image_caption = Vilhelm Pedersen illustration
author = Hans Christian Andersen
country = Denmark
language = Danish
series =
genre = Fairy tale
published_in = Eventyr, fortalte for Børn. Første Samling. Første Hefte. 1835.
publication_type =
publisher = C. A. Reitzel
media_type = Print
pub_date = 1835
english_pub_date = 1846
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"The Princess and the Pea" ( _da. "Prinsessen paa Ærten"; _da. "Prinsessen på ærten" in modern orthography) is a fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young woman whose claim to being a real princess is tested by placing a pea under her mattresses. The tale likely had its source in folk material, and, in the Aarne and Thompson classification of folktales, "The Princess and the Pea" is categorized under its own type as type 703, "The Princess on the Pea". ii The story was first published in 1835. It has been adapted to various media including musical comedy and television drama.

Plot summary

A prince wants to marry a real princess. He travels about the world searching for a real princess but returns home disappointed. One evening, a young woman claiming to be a real princess seeks shelter from a storm in the prince's castle. The prince's mother decides to test the validity of her claim by placing a single pea on a bedstead and piling twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds atop it. There, the young woman spends the night. In the morning, she tells her hosts she endured a sleepless night, being kept awake by something hard in the bed. The prince rejoices. Only a real princess possesses the delicacy to feel a pea through twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds. The two are married, and live happily ever after.

Sources

Andersen claimed to have heard the tale as a child, but no Danish oral variant of the tale has been recorded. Similar tales are known in Sweden. [Maria Tatar, p 284, "The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales", ISBN 0-393-05163-3] Opie, Iona and Peter. "The Classic Fairy Tales." Oxford University Press, 1975. ISBN 0192115596.] In some versions, the princess discovers the test with the aid of helper, and passes it with the foreknowledge. Andersen, however, had his princess remain innocent of the secret and suffer an uncomfortable sleeplessness. [ [http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/princesspea/history.html SurLaLune: History of "The Princess and the Pea"] ]

Publication

The tale was first published in Copenhagen by C.A. Reitzel 8 May 1835 in "Fairy Tales told for Children. First Collection. First Booklet. 1835." ("Eventyr, fortalte for Børn. Første Samling. Første Hefte. 1835."). The publication was Andersen's first volume of fairy tales. "The Princess and the Pea" was the third tale in the booklet which included: (in contents order) "The Tinder Box" ("Fyrtoiet"), "Little Claus and Big Claus" ("Lille Claus og store Claus"), and "Little Ida's Flowers" ("Den lille Idas Blomster"). The tale was republished 18 December 1849 as a part of "Fairy Tales. 1850." ("Eventyr. 1850.") and again, 15 December 1862 as a part of "Fairy Tales and Stories. First Volume. 1862." ("Eventyr og Historier. Første Bind. 1862."). [ [http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/register/info_e.html?vid=8 Hans Christian Andersen Center: Hans Christian Andersen: The Princess on the Pea] Retrieved 1 February 2008]

Translations

The tale was first translated into English by Charles Boner (who increased Andersen's lone pea to a trio of peas) and was first published in "A Danish Story-Book", 1846. The title is sometimes translated into English as "The Real Princess", "How to tell a True Princess", or "The Princess on the Pea". [Tatar, Maria. "The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen". W.W. Norton, 2008. ISBN 9780393060812.]

Adaptations

* Andrew Lang included a version, "How to tell a True Princess", in "The Yellow Fairy Book".
* "Once Upon a Mattress" is a musical comedy based on the story, that opened on Broadway in 1959 and was adapted as telemovies in 1972 and 2005.
* The animated short, "Princess and the Pea" aired as a Fractured Fairy Tale segment during the first season (1959-60) of the animated television series, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show".
* A Soviet movie adaptation, entitled "Printsessa na goroshine" ("The Princess and the Pea") and directed by Boris Rytsarev, was released in 1976. [imdb title|id=0075104|title=Printsessa na goroshine]
* A parody of the tale, "The Princess and the Bowling Ball", can be found in "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales".
* The American children's television program "Sesame Street" has twice told the story as parody.
* Gail Carson Levine rewrote the tale as "The Princess Test".
* "Faerie Tale Theatre" produced a version starring Liza Minnelli (1982).
* HBO's "Happy Ever After" set the tale in Korea.
* Debra Tracy rewrote the tale as "The Clever Princess Who Slept on a Pea" in "Newfangled Fairy Tales".
* An animated feature film was made in 2002 in a co-production between the US and the Hungarian studio PannóniaFilm. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0146063/]
* The computer game "" features a princess who can only be woken by putting a pea under her mattresses.
* A children's board game called Princess and the Pea Game was produced by Winning Moves Games based on the story.

ee also

*List of works by Hans Christian Andersen
*Vilhelm Pedersen, first illustrator of Andersen's fairy tales

References

External links

* [http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/ThePrincessOnThePea_e.html The Princess and the Pea] Jean Hersholt's English translation
* [http://www.adl.dk/adl_pub/vaerker/cv/e_vaerk/e_vaerk.xsql?ff_id=22&id=2240&hist=fmP&nnoc=adl_pub "Prinsessen på ærten"] Original Danish text
* [http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/princesspea/notes.html Surlalune: Annotated The Princess and the Pea]
* [http://www.tonightsbedtimestory.com/the-real-princess/ "The Real Princess" version from "Andersen's Fairy Tales" (English, full text)]


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