Snow White’s mother, the queen, had died in childbirth. A year later her father, the king, took himself another wife much younger than he, a very attractive but headstrong, proud and haughty woman who ran the castle and the surrounding peasantry with an iron hand.
As Snow White grew beyond childhood, she became a gorgeous young girl, one whose beauty became legendary in the kingdom. On her sixteenth birthday the aging king hosted a party to show off his daughter to all the nobility. Her step-mother, the princess-consort and new queen, was furious, jealous that the young woman’s charms might be judged greater than her own.
So the queen consulted the magic mirror in her bath chamber, which years before had been transformed from a handsome prince by an evil sorcerer. The mirror, like its earlier incarnation the prince, always told the truth. Standing naked before it, she asked,