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Creator / Charles Perrault

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Charles Perrault (12 January 1628 – 16 May 1703) was a 17th century Frenchman who wrote fairy tales with remarkable sticking power. If it didn't come from Andersen or the Grimms, chances are good that Perrault wrote it.

Perrault was already a renowned writer and part of king Louis XIV's entourage when he turned his hand to fairy tales, and, in 1697, published Histoires ou Contes du Temps passé ("Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals"), but the book subsequently became better known under its subtitle Les Contes de ma Mère l’Oye, a.k.a. Tales of Mother Goose. Note that this is technically the same Mother Goose who is the personification of Nursery Rhyme, but at that time she was still connected to fairy tales. The book was initially published under the name of his son, presumably because he feared criticism for writing in a "childish" genre. In the 19th century Gustave Doré illustrated the tales in the most iconic and influential imagery possible.

Perrault's fairy tales with pages of their own on this site include:

The Tales of Mother Goose (1696) contains the best known versions (pre-Disney, anyway) of most of those tales. Perrault's version of Little Red Riding Hood ended in the girl's death, and was superseded by the Grimms' more optimistic version. Likewise, although he wrote Sleeping Beauty, the Grimm version is better known. Perrault's Cinderella is in turn much more known than the Grimms' version.

Many of his stories were based on pre-existing fairy tales, but he was among the first to tell them on paper, especially with a distinctive and elegant style. Others who wrote their own fairy tales in the same period (primarily women) have not had the lasting popularity that Perrault has, with the possible exception of Madame de Villeneuve and Madame LePrince de Beaumont, who between them were responsible for Beauty and the Beast.

Under the retinue of king Louis XIV, he had his part in designing the hedge maze in the palace of Versailles when he suggested adding fountains based on the characters of Aesop's Fables to the maze. As a member of Académie Française he was also a supporter to new forms of writing and theatre of his time after he defended an Opera adaptaion of Alcestis.

Perrault's works are in the public domain and can be read in the Project Gutenberg website.

This man is not to be confused with Charles Kuralt, the original host of CBS Sunday Morning News.

Examples of tropes in Perrault's Tales of Mother Goose:

Alternative Title(s): Tales Of Mother Goose