Monday, January 9, 2012

The Legend that is Puss in Boots. P

This came out of a conversation in sl, about the Shreck spin-off movie over the holidays.

Why did they make him Spanish we wondered? Well the Movie cat came out of Shreck and that was playing fast and loose with fairy tales.

I thought it was pretty cool to mix Puss in boots with Zorro.

So we were all claiming the original PIB for our own and making a case for it.

After I looked it up. Wikipedia said he was French of all things! Not German and not English.

Published around 1697 by a French guy named Charles Perrault in a collection of eight fairy tales called Histoires ou contes du temps passé. Le Chat Botté.

Ah! I thought. He got it from somewhere else then. It seems the Grim Brothers did the same thing to him later on.

For me it is all mixed up with the tale of Dick Whittington Thrice Mayor of London, between the years 1397 and 1420 and the cat that brought him fortune and fame. Dick Whittington was absolutely a real person and remembered kindly.

I am sure I saw a Pantomime of it with the cat wearing boots once as a treat when I was little.

The Dick Whittington story was first recorded in writing in 1605 and turned into a play/pantomime the same year. "The History of Richard Whittington, of his lowe byrth, his great fortune."

There are suggestions the story in some form might come from Persia by way of a fifteenth century Italian source, the "Novella della Gatte". There is no doubt a cat was carved above New Gate Prison in London, because of Whittington's will.

I am pretty sure I saw the cat drawn in a story book when I was small wearing a pair of boots and carrying a handkerchief tied up on a stick with his belongings. He was standing by a milestone with the lad Dick whittington and Old London Town in the background.

I don’t think it matters so much if there were two cat stories, or one, or they got combined. They, or it, come from way back pre-medieval even and spread all over Europe going round and round maybe changing a bit. So I guess everyone was right in a way.

I just can't help thinking of PUB having Antonio Banderas' voice now. It is practically iconic. ^_^


jams o donnell said...

Stanfe you should post on Puss in Boots. I was listening to a downloaded BBC dramatisation of Angela Carter's take on Puss in Boots from her collection the Bloody Chamber.

I would strongly recommend the Bloody Chamber... well worth a read!

James Higham said...

Who was Puss's sidekick again?

Moggsy said...

James, Do you mean Richard Whittington or Donkey? Or maybe Humpty Dumpty or Kitty Softpaws? I don't think I actually said side-kick. Or are you being all humanocentric ,like the cat has to be the side-kick? ^_^

Jams, Is Bloody Chamber horror?

jmb said...

No wonder "history" is so mixed up. Everyone puts their own slant on things or misremembers what they are told.

James Higham said...

Kitty Softpaws - I did a post on her but can't remember why.