The Naiads * Beauty and the Beast 

by Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
adapted by Brian Stableford

cover by Nathalie Lial

I’m not a Monseigneur, I’m the Beast, and you shall not avoid the death that you deserve.”
US$ 29.95 /GBP 19.99
5x8 tpb, 392 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-61227-626-7
The Beauty and the Beast by Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve was first published in 1740 and later abridged and rewritten by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in a better-known version in 1743.The main interests of Mme de Villeneuve’s story are two sections, one in which the Beast explains how he came to be transformed and why it was forced to act as he did in regard to the Beauty; and the other in which the fay who contrived his liberation from his curse explains how and for what motives an evil rival placed her in that elaborate necessity. This original account of the organization and politics of the world of Faerie is of considerable interest, as well as completing the explanatory schema of the enigmatic fundamental tale.
The Naiads, published 100 years after Mme de Villeneuve’s death, is one of the earliest fantasy novels. It is set in a distant past in a fictitious realm with a religion based on elemental spirits. While it uses the stock motifs of the fairy tale, featuring a Prince Perfect who falls in love with a shepherdess, unaware that she is really a Princess, as well as a wicked stepmother and an ugly sister bent on persecuting the beleaguered heroine, it also looks behind those motifs and provide them with elaborate explanatory schemas, such as the strange story of the Mill of Misfortune and the revelation of the Prince’s true identity by the Gnome Queen. 

La Belle et la Bête (1740) - Les Nayades (posth. 1865)
Introduction, Afterword and Notes by Brian Stableford.