The story of Cinderella didn't make its debut in Europe until the 17th Century when Italian Giambattista Basile's "La Gatta Cenerentola" ("Cat Cinderella") was published in Naples in 1634. In this version, the heroine complains of her evil step-mother to her governess, who tells the girl, "When your father leaves the house, tell your step–mother you would like one of the ragged old dresses she keeps in the big chest. She'll open the chest and say, 'Hold the lid.' While she is rummaging around inside, you must let the lid fall suddenly so that it breaks her neck. When she is dead, beg your father to take me for his wife, and then we shall both be happy."  When Zezolla, our Cinderella figure, has done this, the governess reveals that she has six daughters of her own and treats the girl even worse than the first stepmother did. The story continues in a fairly-familiar vein, but it was written with in a very adult tone, with double entendres that made it both popular and inappropriate for children, but it should be noted that Zezolla is, again, incredibly clever.
A different version of story would be later collected by the Brothers Grimm, who recorded it in their1812 publication of 86 fairy tales, Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales).  This version, known as "Aschenputtel" ("Ash Girl"), while a children's story, shows no hint of either a pumpkin carriage or a fairy godmother: "The heroine plants a tree on her mother's grave from which all of the magical help appears in the form of a white dove and gifts. At the end, the stepsisters' eyes are pecked by birds from the tree to punish them for their cruelty."  It is the heroine's strength of heart and faith that are rewarded in this version of the story.
"set the new pattern for America's Cinderella. The book's text is coy and condescending. (Sample: 'And her best friends of all were — guess who — the mice!')The illustrations are poor cartoons. And Cinderella herself is a disaster. She cowers as her sisters rip her homemade ballgown to shreds. Not even homemade by Cinderella, but by the mice and birds.) She answers her stepmother with whines and pleadings. She is a sorry excuse for a heroine, pitiable and useless. She cannot perform even a simple action to save herself, though she is warned by her friends, the mice. She does not hear them because she is 'off in a world of dreams.' Cinderella begs, she whimpers, and at last has to be rescued by — guess who — the mice!" 
 Ashlimann, D.L. "Grimm Brothers' Home Page." http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm.html#chronology. Accessed at 8 September 2008.
 "Charles Perrault." http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/harris/StudentProjects/Student_FairyTales/WebProject/Bios/Perrault%20Bio.htm. Accessed 5 September, 2008.
 Heiner, Heidi Anne. "History of Cinderella." SurLaLune Fairy Tales. http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/cinderella/history.html. Accessed 5 September, 2008.
 Wildling, Terri. "Cinderella: Ashes, Blood, and the Slipper of Glass." http://www.endicott-studio.com/rdrm/forashs.html. Accessed 5 September, 2008.