Amazon offers a free Kindle eBook download of Beauty and the Beast by Jeanna-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont. For comparison, the hardcover version usually sells for $15 and the paperback goes for $10. Rated 4.4/5 stars.
Beauty and the Beast is a traditional fairy tale. Its first published version was written by the French author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in the mid-18th century. It was a novel-length story intended for adult readers and addressed the issues of the marriage system of the day in which women had no right to choose their husband or to refuse to marry. The best-known version of the tale appeared sixteen years later. Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont simplified and shortened de Villeneuve’s work and published it in a magazine for young ladies. The new abridged version became more successful, and Madame de Beaumont is now regarded as the author of the classic story. This edition includes remarkable illustrations by Walter Crane. Crane’s work on children’s books in cooperation with the publisher Edmund Evans earned him worldwide fame in the late 19th century.