In French Cendrillon and in German Aschenbrötel. Literally, the little cinder girl. Heroine of a fairy tale of very ancient, probably Eastern, origin, mentioned in German literature in the 16th century and popularized by Perrault Contes de ma mère l'oye ( 1697). Cinderella is drudge of the house, dirty with housework, while her elder sisters go to fine balls. At length a fairy enables her to go to the prince's ball; the prince falls in love her, and she is discovered by means of a glass slipper which she drops, and which will fit no foot but her own.
J. M. Barrie wrote a play entitled A Kiss for Cinderella ( 1916). The heroine is "Miss Thing, the Penny Friend," who keeps a day-nursery for war babies and, like Cinderella, has her dreams, which finally come true.