Public Domain Super Heroes


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Real Name


First Appearance

Sun, Moon, and Talia (1634)

Created by

Giambattista Basile


After the birth of a great lord's daughter, Talia, wise men and astrologers cast the child's horoscope and told the lord that Talia would be later be endangered by a splinter of flax. To protect his daughter, the father commands that no flax would ever be brought into his house. Years later, Talia sees an old woman spinning flax on a spindle. She asks the woman if she can stretch the flax herself, but as soon as she begins to spin, a splinter of flax goes under her fingernail, and she drops to the ground, apparently dead. Unable to stand the thought of burying his child, the lord puts Talia in one of his country estates.

Some time later, a king, hunting in nearby woods, follows his falcon into the house. He finds Talia, tries unsuccessfully to wake her up, then has sex with her while she is unconscious. Afterwards, he leaves the girl on the bed and returns to his own city. Still deep in sleep, she gives birth to twins (a boy and a girl). One day, the boy cannot find his mother's breast; and instead he begins to suck on Talia's finger and draws the flax splinter out. Talia awakens immediately. She names them "Sun" and "Moon" and lives with them in the house.

The king returns and finds Talia is awake – and a mother of twins. However, he is already married. He calls out the names of Talia, Sun and Moon in his sleep, and his wife, the queen, hears him. She forces the king's secretary to tell her everything, and then, using a forged message, has Talia's children brought to court. She orders the cook to kill the children and serve them to the king. But the cook hides them, and cooks two lambs instead. The queen taunts the king while he eats.

Then, the queen has Talia brought to court. She commands that a huge fire be lit in the courtyard, and that Talia be thrown into the flames. Talia asks to take off her fine garments first. The queen agrees. Talia undresses and utters screams of grief with each piece of clothing. The king hears Talia's screams. His wife tells him that Talia would be burned and that he had unknowingly eaten his own children. The king commands that his wife, his secretary, and the cook be thrown into the fire instead. The cook explains how he had saved Sun and Moon. The king and Talia marry; and the cook is rewarded with the title of royal chamberlain.

The last line of the fairy tale – its moral – is as follows: "Lucky people, so 'tis said, He who has luck may go to bed, And bliss will rain upon his head."

Public Domain Comics Appearances

  • Tiny Tot Comics #1
  • Pep Comics #2
  • Fairy Tale Parade #5
  • Jingle Jangle Comics #8

Public Domain Comics Inspired by Sleeping Beauty

  • Jon Juan #1: Jon Juan encounters Princess Shezandra who had been put into a state of eternal slumber by the evil Aktar.
  • G.I. Joe (1951 Series) vol. 2 #12
  • Soldier Comics #6: Snoozer Lamson, the sleepiest man in the army, had the nickname Sleeping Beauty.


  • Charles Perrault transformed the tone of Basile's Sole, Luna, e Talia. Beside differences in tone, the most notable differences in the plot is that, in Basile's version, the sleep did not stem from a curse, but was prophesied; that the king did not wake Talia from the sleep with a kiss, but prayed to the gods to wake her, when the gods visited her, she gave birth to two children, one sucked on her finger, drawing out the piece of flax that had put her to sleep, which woke her; and that the woman who resented her and tried to eat her and her children was not the king's mother but, his jealous wife. The mother-in-law's jealousy is less motivated, although common in fairy tales.
  • The princess's name has been unstable. In Sun, Moon, and Talia, she is named Talia ("Sun" and "Moon" being her twin children). Perrault removed this, leaving her anonymous, although naming her daughter "L'Aurore" and her son "Le Jour". This transfer was taken up by Disney in the film, which also called her Aurora. The Brothers Grimm named her "Briar Rose" in their 1812 collection. John Stejean named her "Rosebud" in TeleStory Presents.
  • While the original character is in public domain, the version of the character used by Disney and other later adaptations published after 1923 are NOT.

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