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the princess and the pea

the princess and the pea in Culture

“The Princess and the Pea” definition


A story by Hans Christian Andersen. A prince insists on marrying a real princess. When a woman comes to his door maintaining that she is a real princess, the prince's mother tests her by burying a pea under a huge stack of mattresses and then ordering the woman to sleep on the mattresses. The woman cannot sleep and therefore passes the test: being a true princess, she is so delicate that the pea keeps her awake.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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