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1001 Stories Collection

The Princess Bride

1001 The Princess Bride
Added on 16th August 2020

Author William Goldman
First published 1973
Publisher Harcourt Brace Javanovich, USA

A rollicking fairy tale adventure that has become a classic.

Story

The Princess Bride is a fairy tale adventure set in the kingdom of Florin. It is better known through the 1987 film adaptation, also by William Goldman.

Buttercup, a young woman who lives on a farm, falls in love with Westley, the farm hand. Westley sets off to make his fortune so they can marry. Later Buttercup is horrified to hear that he has been killed by pirates. After years of despair, she reluctantly agrees to marry Prince Humperdinck, heir to the throne of Florin, but is kidnapped the night before their wedding. A mysterious masked man comes to her rescue, and there is something familiar about him…

Why we chose it

The Princess Bride blends romantic fairy tale, rollicking adventure and witty dialogue to charming effect. The book has become a classic and the film gained a cult-following.

The Buttercup-Westley storyline appears within a framing narrative in which Goldman explains how he had loved being told the story as a child and, when he tracked down the original book – by a fictional S. Morgenstern – to read to his own son, had discovered that it was so full of boring bits that he had to adapt it himself. This serves to contrast real everyday life with the fairy tale fiction.

Where it came from

The Princess Bride developed from bedtime stories that Goldman, a Hollywood screenwriter, told his daughters. Goldman later recalled that he had never had such an enjoyable writing experience.

Where it went next

Spinoffs include computer and board games.

Later editions of the book mention a (fictional) sequel entitled Buttercup’s Baby, that Goldman is hoping to abridge from another book by S. Morgenstern. Goldman claims he is having legal difficulties with the S. Morgenstern estate. In reality, Goldman could never come up with a plot that pleased him as much as the original.

Associated stories

Goldman is also well known for his adult novel, Marathon Man, which he adapted into a film, and his Oscar- winning scripts for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the Presidents Men.

Added on 16th August 2020

Author William Goldman
First published 1973
Publisher Harcourt Brace Javanovich, USA