• A fairy tale of ancient, possibly Eastern, origin, found in Italian literature in the 17th century and popularized by Perrault's Tales of Mother Goose (1697). In Britain the story has been a favourite subject for pantomime since the 1820s.

    Cinderella is obliged to work as a drudge, while her stepsisters go to fine balls. At length, her fairy godmother enables her to go to the prince's ball; the prince falls in love with her, and she is foundagain by means of a glass slipper which she drops, and which willfit no foot other than hers.

    The pantomime version adds such characters as Baron Stonybroke, Dandini,and the page Buttons; the two Ugly Sisters (played by men) are the main source of comedy.