Apparently, Beauty and the Beast is based on a true story, according to French records. I know. Freaking awesome, right? It’s amazing what you find on Netflix. I was looking through the documentaries, when I came upon this:
Apparently, the original “beast” was a man with Ambras Syndrome, or hypertrichosis. It’s a condition that means, “too much hair” in Latin. This poor man was captured as a boy and gifted to the king of France. He was told that this was the famed “wild man,” part man and part beast.
The king had his physicians examine the poor child, upon where they decided to try an experiment, raising him as a noble boy to see what could become of the hairy animal who claimed to be named, Petrus Gonsalvus.
The story becomes familiar when his patron, the queen of France, decides that her experiment will be carried further by choosing a beautiful young woman to marry this “beast”…and see if he can truly love and be loved.
This story, while painful in some parts, has a surprisingly happy ending particularly for one that comes from the sixteenth century. If you’ve got some time, flip on Netflix and watch!