Literature / The Princess and the Pea
"The Princess and the Pea" (Danish: "Prindsessen paa ærten"; "Prinsessen på ærten" in modern orthography) is a Fairy Tale
by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen
about a young woman whose claim to being a real princess is tested by placing a pea under her mattresses. The tale likely had its source in folk material although the original source of the story is a bit obscure. The story was first published in 1835. It has been adapted to various media including musical comedy
and television drama.
A prince at the age of marriage travels about the world searching for a real princess but returns home disappointed. One evening, a young woman claiming to be a princess seeks shelter from a storm in the prince's castle. The prince's mother decides to test her claim by placing one (or three
) peas on her bedstead, underneath twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds. The following morning their young guest tells her hosts she endured a sleepless night because of the terrible lump in her bed. The prince rejoices, for only a real princess could be so tender. They marry and live happily ever after.
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"The Princess and the Pea" has examples of: