This story was originally written in French and titled La Belle et la Bete. Belle is the French word for "beautiful girl," which is where the movie character gets her name from, but the tale's English translation is more direct, calling her "Beauty." They have so much in common, although Beauty has two older sisters and three older brothers. Her father does, indeed, go broke, and goes on a trip to find fortune. While Beauty's sisters request lavish dresses and other riches, Beauty only requests a rose.
On his trip, the merchant encounters Beast's castle and spends the night. The Beast remains out of sight, but cares for the man. On his way out, he gathers roses from the garden for Beauty, and the Beast angrily accuses him of being ungrateful. He lets the merchant return home, on the condition he sends one of his daughters as a replacement. Beauty, feeling stricken with grief, insists on replacing him.
The Beast treats Beauty like a treasured guest, offering her everything her heart desires. He asks every night if she will marry him, but every time she declines. Finally, she becomes so homesick, he lets her go home for a week.
Beauty's sisters are so jealous, they conspire to make her outstay her promise to Beast. Beauty eventually misses him so much, she returns to find him dying, having attempted to starve himself. Beauty confesses her love, and he transforms into a handsome prince. For their misdeeds, the fairy who had cursed Beast casts a new spell. The two sisters are forever doomed to be statues at the front of the castle.