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Beauty and the Beast in medieval Antwerp

The Rose and the Swine

Anne Provoost

When Rosalena is born, she’s so frail that her fate seems sealed. But with the help of the fairies, the ugly, almost transparent baby develops into a woman whose beauty no one can resist. By way of contrast, Anne Provoost presents ugliness in the form of a warthog who is Rosalena’s faithful helper. Throughout the story, disasters in the surrounding area are linked to Rosalena’s beauty. The fairies struggle to help her retain her beauty; angels fight for her innocence. When Antwerp is hit by a smallpox epidemic, Rosalena’s perfection evokes even more fondness, frustration and hostility. Her destiny eventually leads Rosalena to Lord Thybeert, as ugly as a warthog, and no less coarse. Yet he is not without a certain tenderness.

A masterpiece of the art of language
De Standaard

‘The Rose and the Swine’ was inspired by ‘Beauty and the Beast’, first written down by Gianfresco Straparola in the early sixteenth century. It is a tribute to the primal force of the fairy tale. Provoost, a celebrated author for all ages, offers her readers works of the highest literary quality.

A magnificent tribute to the primal power of the fairy tale