Cinderella and Her Glass Slipper (1): Cinderella and Cinderella dressing for the Ball.. According to Pearson this seven-image chapbook version of the fairy tale was published by Rusher c. 1814 with designs by Cruikshank, which were engraved by Branstone. Photograph and text by Siobhan Lam and George P. Landow. Courtesy of the John Hay Library, Brown University. [This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.]

Two points seem worth observing here, the first of which is that this chapbook presents a most untraditional version of Cinderella (whose name comes from her being covered with cinders from cleaning the household fireplace): this version omits the cruel stepmother and three evil stepsisters, fairy godmother, pumpkin coach, and trying on the glass slipper. Moreover, the first picture represents the heroine in elegant dress reading a large book — an image more reminiscent of some Renaissance paintings of the Virgin Mary and the Annunciation, a fact that suggests this block might have been borrowed from some other chapbook and re-used. Second, although Pearson claims that Cruikshank designed the woodcuts, their crudeness and poor drawing — take a look at the right-hand image — makes that very unlikely; even Cruikshank's earliest work shows a knowledge of anatomy and good line.

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Pearson, Edwin. Banbury Chap Books and Nursery Toy Book Literature. London: Arthur Reader, 1890, p. 42.

Victorian Web Overview Genre, Technique, and Style Children's Literature

Last modified 3 August 2007