Sleeping Beauty 1956
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Retold by Eveyln Andreas
Pictures by Ruth Ives
Wonder Books 1956
This original 1956 book was from my childhood.
As the book has literally fallen apart with age (as its owner),
I wished to preserve what was left of it and share these beautiful illustrations. Enjoy.


nce upon a time there was a King and Queen who wished to have a child. At last the Queen had a daughter. Seven fairy godmothers came to the christening of the little Princess. Each one gave the Princess a gift, as was the custom of fairies in those days.

Three Fairies and Baby Aurora



Dinner Party Interrupted by Old Fairy




fter the ceremonies were over, everyone returned to the King's palace where a great feast was prepared for the fairies. A magnificent case of pure gold was set before each fairy. In each case, the fairy found a spoon, knife and fork set with diamonds and rubies. As they sat down at the table, there came into the hall a very old fairy whom everybody thought was either dead, or enchanted. The King could not furnish her with a case of gold because only seven had been made for the seven fairies. The old fairy was heard to grumble. When it came time for the old fairy to make her gift to the young Princess, she said spitefully, "When the Princess reaches the age of fifteen, she shall pierce her hand with a spindle and die of the wound." This terrible gift made everyone tremble.



Fairy Godmothers Charm
At that moment, one of the seven fairy godmothers came forward and said: "Oh King and Queen, your daughter shall not die of this disaster. It is true that I cannot undo entirely what the elder fairy has done. But instead of dying, the Princess shall merely fall into a deep sleep that will last a hundred years. At the end of that time, a King's son will come and awaken her."


The King Has All Spindles Burnt
To avoid the misfortune foretold by the old fairy, the King issued a proclamation that every spindle in the kingdom be burned. The young Princess grew up without ever seeing a spindle.

Aurora sees the Old Woman SpinningThus, fifteen years passed and no harm befell the Princess. But one day soon after she was fifteen, the young Princess took a walk through the palace. At the top of the tower she found a little door. She opened the door and there inside was an old woman, all alone, spinning her spindle. The old woman had never heard of the King's order against spindles.
"What are you doing here, my good woman?" asked the Princess. "I am spinning, my pretty child," said the old woman. "Would you like to try it?"
"Yes," said the Princess, "let me try." With that she took the spindle into her hand. But alas, at that moment, she pierced her hand with the spindle and fell down in a deep swoon.
Aurora Pricks her Finger on the Spindle

Aurora Swoons
The old woman cried out for help. People came running from all directions. They threw water upon the Princess's face, and tried to bring her back to life. But nothing helped and the Princess remained in her deep swoon.
Then the King came. He remembered the prediction made by the old fairy and he had the Princess carried into the finest room in the palace. He placed her upon a bed embellished in gold and silver. There she lay, looking like a beautiful angel, her cheeks still pink and her lips rosy. She was breathing very softly. The King commanded that no one disturb her -- she was to sleep quietly until the hour of awakening.Princess Sleeps

Good Fairy to the Rescue

Then the good fairy, who protected the life of the Princess, came to the kingdom in her fiery chariot drawn by dragons. She touched the King and Queen, and all the people and animals with her wand, and put them all to sleep, too. When all were asleep, there sprang up around the palace a thick wood of trees, bushes and brambles which hid the palace from view. A hundred years passed.

One day a King's son from a neighboring kingdom was hunting near the palace. Above the thick woods he saw the topmost battlements of the tower and inquired of his companions about it. Some said it was an old castle haunted by spirits. Others said an ogre lived there. Everyone had a different story, according to what he had heard.Prince sees castle
Finally a very old man said to the Prince, "It is now fifty years since my father, who heard it from his father, told me that a beautiful Princess lies asleep in that castle. The old tale is that she shall be awakened by a King's son and become his bride."Old Man Tells Prince Legend of Aurora

All asleep
The young Prince became very excited when he heard these words, and he was determined to rescue the lovely Princess who lay enchanted in the palace. As the Prince advanced toward the wood, a path suddenly appeared through the bushes and brambles. He walked to the castle, and into the courtyard where everyone was asleep.

The KissThe young Prince went on his way through the palace until he came to the royal chamber. And there he saw the Princess lying upon her bed. So beautiful was she, that the Prince fell down upon his knees beside the bed to gaze upon her. Then he leaned over to kiss the Princess.
His kiss broke the enchantment. The Princess awoke and looked at the Prince saying, "Is it you, my Prince?" You have waited a long while." Then they wept for joy. The Prince said that soon he would take her away as his bride to his own palace.
The Awakening

Marriage Celebration
The awakening of the Princess broke the enchanted spell, and the whole palace awoke. The King and the Queen bustled about and prepared for the great wedding feast and celebration. For three days and nights the festivities continued and everyone made merry and rejoiced.


Prince and Princess on horseback
Then the Prince and the Princess rode off to their own palace where they lived happily ever after (or so we would like to believe).