• The material culture of Cinderella: introducing the Cinderella Collection

      Weedon, Alexis (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020-12-01)
      In August 2012 the University of Bedfordshire was given a collection of items all about Cinderella. It was one person’s collection, gathered over a number of years in the 1990s and is an example of a fascination with the fairy tale and its retellings in our culture. It is housed at our library in Bedford and shares its archival lodging with the much larger Hockliffe collection of rare primers, readers and children’s books that was donated by a specialist bookseller from the town. On the open shelves in this cool room are the books and along side are the archive boxes with the objet and ephemera. There are cuttings, tins, jigsaws, souvenir programmes, figurines, and porcelain collectables. Each are not necessarily unique in themselves, but as a collection it is intriguing. It offers unusual insights into the range of discourses and disciplines that claim the tale of Cinderella. Through insights into the Special Collection of Cinderella material its archiving and display at the University of Bedfordshire, this chapter will examine the material culture surrounding Cinderella from the nineteenth and twentieth century. The Collection opens up the varied range of adaptation and performance that the story has inspired, containing materials ranging from opera and ballet programmes, books and theatre models, to collectable figurines, toys and merchandise. This chapter takes a perspective from publishing studies and delves into the different market sectors in the Collection such as folklore, psychology, education, self help, fiction, illustration and women’s studies. Opening the covers of these volumes it explores the tales of personal transformation as they have been reinscribed in modern retellings.