Veronica Muskheli
Articles by Veronica Muskheli

The Russian Cinderella Tale as a Mother-Daughter Romance

Ask anyone familiar with “Cinderella” what the story is all about, and they will likely say that it is about a beautiful orphaned girl’s marriage to a prince—in spite of her wicked stepfamily’s machinations, and with a little help from her fairy godmother. But a careful reading of an authentic Russian version of the tale, of the kind East Slavic peasants would tell in the nineteenth century and that ethnographer Alexander Afanasyev titled “The Golden Slipper,” suggests that stories about a Cinderella-like character are actually about the heroine’s conflict with her mother.

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