The Beauty and the Beast

MinaLima, the award-winning design studio behind the graphics for the Harry Potter film franchise and the creators of the illustrated Jungle Book and Peter Pan, reimagines the beloved French fairy tale The Beauty and the Beast in this deluxe unabridged edition illustrated with stunning full-color artwork and nine 3-D interactive features—publishing with Harper Design March 9th to coincide with the release of the blockbuster Disney live-action musical film.

Generations of readers have been bewitched by the epic love story of a beautiful young girl imprisoned in the magical castle of a monstrous beast. Now, the classic fairy tale is brought to life in this spectacular illustrated edition as originally envisioned by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740. We’re excited to share an excerpt below, along with several of the new illustrations!

 

 


 

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Upon entering this charming castle he had taken care, notwithstanding he was nearly perished, to unbridle his horse and let him wend his way to a stable which he had observe in the fore-court. An alley, ornamented by palisades, formed by rose-bushes in full bloom, led to it. He had never seen such lovely roses. Their perfume reminded him that he had promised to give Beauty a rose. He picked one, and was about to gather enough to make half-a-dozen bouquets, when a most frightful noise made him turn round.

He was terribly alarmed upon perceiving at his side a horrible beast, which, with an air of fury, laid upon his neck a kind of trunk, resembling an elephant’s, and said, with a terrific voice, “ o gave thee permission to gather my roses? Is it not enough that I kindly allowed thee to remain in my palace. Instead of feeling grateful, rash man, I find thee stealing my flowers! Thy insolence shall not remain unpunished.”

The good man, already too much overpowered by the unexpected appearance of this monster, thought he should die of fright at these words, and quickly threw away the fatal rose.

“Ah! my Lord,” said he, prostrating himself before him, “have mercy on me! I am not ungrateful! Penetrated by all your kindness, I did not imagine that so slight a liberty could possibly have off ended you.”

The monster very angrily replied, “Hold thy tongue, thou foolish talker. I care not for thy flattery, nor for the titles thou bestowest on me. I am not ‘my Lord;’ I am The Beast; and thou shalt not escape the death thou deservest.”

 


 

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The horse stopped at the foot of the flight of steps. She alighted quickly, and her father, as soon as he had put foot to the ground, conducted her by a vestibule to the saloon in which he had been so well entertained. They found there a large fire, lighted candles which emitted an exquisite perfume, and, above all, a table splendidly served. The good man, accustomed to the manner in which the Beast regaled his guests, told his daughter that this repast was intended for them, and that they were at liberty to avail themselves of it. Beauty made no difficulty, well-persuaded that it would not hasten her death. On the contrary, she imagined that it would make known to the Beast the little repugnance she had felt in coming to see him. She hoped that her frankness might be capable of softening him, and even that her adventure might be less sad than she had at first apprehended. The formidable Monster with which she had been menaced did not show himself, and the whole palace spoke of joy and magnificence. It appeared that her arrival had caused these demonstrations, and it did not seem probable that they could have been designed for a funeral ceremony.

Her hope did not last long, however. The Monster made himself heard. A frightful noise, caused by the enormous weight of his body, by the terrible clank of his scales, and an awful roaring, announced his arrival. Terror took possession of Beauty.

 


 

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She awoke several times, but on falling asleep again no cupids fluttered round her couch. In a word, instead of a night full of sweet thoughts and innocent pleasures, which she had counted on passing in the arms of sleep, it was to her one of interminable length and endless anxiety. She had never known any like it in the Palace of the Beast, and the day, which she at last saw break with a mingled feeling of satisfaction and impatience, came opportunely to relieve her from this weariness.

Her father, enriched by the liberality of the Beast, had quitted his country house, and in order to facilitate the establishment of his daughters, resided in a very large city, where his new fortune obtained for him new friends, or rather new acquaintances. Amidst the circle who visited him the tidings soon spread that his youngest daughter had returned. Everybody evinced an equal impatience to see her, and were each as much charmed with her intellect as with her beauty. The peaceful days she had passed in her desert palace, the innocent pleasures which a gentle slumber had invariably procured her, the thousand amusements which succeeded, so that dullness could never take possession of her spirit—in brief, all the attentions of the Monster had combined to render her still more beautiful and more charming than she was when her father first parted from her.

She was the admiration of all who saw her. The suitors to her sisters, without condescending to excuse their infidelity by the slightest pretext, fell in love with her, and attracted by the power of her charms, deserted, without a blush, their former mistresses.

 


 

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Excerpted from The Beauty and the Beast; images © MinaLima, 2017

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