10 Historical Misconceptions


Cinderella Wore Glass Slippers

Ask anyone and they'll tell you that Cinderella wore glass slippers to the ball, but historians say that part of the legend isn't true. More than 500 versions of the classic fairy tale exist, dating back as far as the 9th century. In each account, Cinderella has a magic ring or magic slippers made of gold, silver, or some other rare metal, which are sometimes covered with gems but are never made of glass.

In the earliest French versions, Cinderella wore pantoufles en vair, or "slippers of white squirrel fur." In 1697, when French writer Charles Perrault wrote "Cendrillon," his version of the tale, the word vair had vanished from the French language. Perrault apparently assumed it should have been verre, pronounced the same as vair, but meaning "glass." Even a wave of the fairy godmother's magic wand couldn't make that mistake disappear, and it has been passed down ever since.