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The Origins of Sleeping Beauty

by Roger Heywood

Viking – The 12th century Norse saga, Volsunga, tells a story of the god Odin becoming upset with the valkyrie, Brunhilde, and cursing her to sleep on a bed surrounded by fire until a man comes to rescue her. Eventually, she is released from the spell when Siegfried enters her domain and awakens the female warrior by cutting off her armour.
Four hundred years later, in 1528, Perceforest was printed in Paris, as a collection of tales from medieval France. One of these stories tells how a goddess curses a young princess Zellandine and causes her to enter a deep slumber. Many years later a prince, Troylus, stumbles upon the sleeping woman and sexually assaults her, resulting in the birth of a child.

The Italian Talia – In the early 1600s, Basile, an Italian nobleman published a collection of folk and fairy tales. Among the stories was one called “Sun, Moon and Talia,” in which Talia, pricked by a poisonous thorn, falls asleep, and is then raped by a married prince. When the prince eventually returns with his wife, he discovers that Talia has awoken from her sleep and that he has a second family, including twins named Sun and Moon.

Read the original article at: Sunderland Tyne and Wear Review

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