Monday, July 15, 2013

If the Shoe Fit, Why Did It Slip?

It's the Cinderella question you perhaps-not-so-secretly wondered about. 

While we ponder this (with some help from Tabled Fables and The Guardian) I thought I'd showcase the GORGEOUS illustrations by Errol le Cain (that I could find) for Cinderella or The Little Glass Slipper. I've never seen them all in one place or in sequence so I thought it might be nice to simulate that somewhat. Enjoy! And now to the (sticky?) question:

✒ ✒ ✒  ✒ (click the "Read more" link below this line) ✒ ✒ ✒ ✒ ✒ 

One advantage of the internet and social media in particular is asking the "hive mind" to weigh in on a question. The Guardian did just that.

(Reblogged from Tabled Fables who have sadly had to cease their podcast.)

This bit of crowd-sourced Cinderella trivia is too good not to share. One Guardian reader asked how Cinderella’s perfectly-fitting shoe managed to fall off her foot when she ran from the ball. After all, she’d been dancing on it all night without complications.
And some other readers’ responses to the question were priceless:
Cinderella is whirling like a dervish on the dancefloor as midnight approaches, her cheeks ablaze, her heart afire, her loins asmouldering. Her beautiful slippers are becoming loose as the glass expands in the ardent heat of dancing toes and scalding passion. The clock strikes! One last scintillating glance at the prince and she must run, run swiftly. Her shoes are sparking on the marble floor, they are white-hot and getting larger with every step. One falls off. It is too late to turn back and pick it up. She feels the lace of her gown crumbling into rags. 
"Holy smoke," says the Fairy Godmother to the last remaining footman before he turns back into a lizard. “I should have used borosilicate glass. It has a much lower coefficient of thermal expansion." (Sue Coates, Hastings, East Sussex)  
Exercise can cause sweaty feet. (DismantleTrident) 

(Edit added by FTNH:)
A few more possibilities from random places around the web:
Ooh good question!! It was a clue to the prince so he knew who he fell in love with kind of like giving someone your phone number (Cupcake)
Because they're called slippers and slippers are obviously slippery so at least one slipped off. (MULTIPLE PEOPLE!) 

The fairy godmother tripped her on purpose - all part of the plan. (Anon.) 

If that were now the glass slipper would probably break, cutting her foot, leaving blood and DNA. Between the broken foot, toe prints on the glass, blood and sweat DNA and a billion dollars worth of resources at his disposal the Prince (and CSI) could probably track her down. Not quite as romantic though. (Anon.)

But the proper response probably lies with commenter KitGrey: 
"I think the answer is that in the Brothers Grimm version there are three balls on successive nights. Cinders runs away at midnight on each occasion and the prince follows but fails to find her. On the third night he has the staircase smeared with pitch to slow down his mystery girl and her shoe sticks to the pitch and comes off."

I have to wonder: Did Cinderella get all her shoes custom made after the fact? And did she add straps?

Via the fairy tale podcast Tabled Fables. Although Tabled Fables has had to cease podcasting for the foreseeable future, their archive of podcasts, notes, commentary, links and art is a treasure to mine. Go check it out HERE and let the girls know how much you appreciate all their work. They're still very active on Twitter, providing links of all sorts of fairy tale goodness HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting these. That pic of Cinderella sewing stopped my scrolling--it is amazing.