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"The Sleeping Beauty (French: La Belle au bois dormant, "The Beauty sleeping in the wood") by Charles Perrault or "Little Briar Rose" (German: Dornröschen) by the Brothers Grimm is a classic fairytale involving a beautiful princess, enchantment of sleep, and a handsome prince. Written as an original literary tale, it was first published by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697.
In 1959 the story was made into a Walt Disney animated film.
The basic elements of Perrault's narrative are in two parts. Some folklorists believe that they were originally separate tales, as they became afterward in the Grimms' version, and were joined together by Basile, and Perrault following him.
Some folklorists have analyzed Sleeping Beauty as indicating the replacement of the lunar year (with its thirteen months, symbolically depicted by the full thirteen fairies) by the solar year (which has twelve, symbolically the invited fairies). This, however, founders on the issue that only in the Grimms' tale is the wicked fairy the thirteenth fairy; in Perrault's, she is the eighth. The basic elements of the story can also be interpreted as a nature allegory: the Princess represents Nature, the Wicked Fairy is Winter, who puts the Court to sleep with pricks of frost until the Prince (Spring) cuts away the brambles with his sword (a sunbeam) to allow the sun to awaken sleeping Nature.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote two poems based on Sleeping Beauty, "Sleeping Beauty" in 1830, and an expanded, rewritten version, "The Day-Dream", in 1842.
Sleeping Beauty has been popular for many fairytale fantasy retellings. These include Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters novel The Gates of Sleep; Robin McKinley's Spindle's End, Orson Scott Card's Enchantment, Jane Yolen's Briar Rose, Sophie Masson's Clementine, Anne Rice's (as A. N. Roquelaure) Sleeping Beauty Trilogy and Jim C. Hines's Princess Series (Hines portraying the prince as raping Sleeping Beauty- AKA Talia- while she slept, Talia waking up after giving birth and using her gift of grace to become a highly skilled martial artist; she develops a strong dislike of fairies and unrequited feelings of love for her friend and ally, Snow White).
Princess Aurora also appears in the second season of the ABC TV show Once Upon a Time, portrayed by Sarah Bolger.
Michele Carafa composed La belle au bois dormant in 1825.
Before Tchaikovsky's version, several ballet productions were based on the "Sleeping Beauty" theme, amongst which one from Eugène Scribe: in the winter of 1828–1829, the French playwright furnished a four-act mimed scenario as a basis for Aumer's choreography of a four-act ballet-pantomime La Belle au Bois Dormant. Scribe wisely omitted the violence of the second part of Perrault's tale for the ballet, which was set by Hérold and first staged at the Académie Royale in Paris on 27 April 1829. Though Hérold popularized his piece with a piano Rondo brilliant based on themes from the music, he was not successful in getting the ballet staged again.
The fourth movement of Robert Schumann's Märchenbilder depicts scenes from this story.
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