Charles Perrault

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Perrault, Charles

(shärl pĕrō`), 1628–1703, French poet. His collections of eight fairy tales, Histoires ou contes du temps passé [stories or tales of olden times] (1697) gave classic form to the traditional stories of Bluebeard, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Little Red Ridinghood, and Hop-o'-My-Thumb. In the frontispiece of the collection appears the expression "Contes de ma mère Loye" [tales of Mother Goose]. Perrault also published three tales in verse (1694). He is also famous for the stormy literary quarrel that he aroused with a poem (1687) comparing ancient authors unfavorably with modern writers. Boileau, the chief defender of the ancients, bandied insults with Perrault until 1694. This "quarrel of the ancients and the moderns" is considered a harbinger of the 18th-century Enlightenment.

Perrault, Charles


Born Jan. 12, 1628, in Paris; died there May 16, 1703. French poet and critic. Member of the Académie Française from 1671.

The son of a bourgeois official, Perrault was a lawyer. His first work was a verse parody, The Walls of Troy, or the Origin of Burlesque (1653). He wrote allegorical narrative poems, odes, and epistles in the style of chivalric court poetry. The initiator of the literary Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns, he affirmed the superiority of contemporary writers over the ancient ones. Polemicizing with N. Boileau, Perrault rejected classical aesthetics in the narrative poem The Age of Louis the Great (Le Siècle de Louis le Grand, 1687) and the dialogues Parallel Between the Ancients and the Moderns (Parallèle des Anciens et des Modernes, vols. 1-4, 1688-97).

Perrault gained fame with his collection Stories and Fairy Tales of Bygone Days, With Morals: Tales of Mother Goose (Histoires et contes du temps passé, avec des moralités: Contes de ma mère l’oie, 1697). He opposed the classical tradition with such folk fairy tales as Little Red Riding Hood and Hop o’ My Thumb, introducing these works into the system of literary genres. The Tales helped democratize literature and influenced the development of the fairy-tale tradition as seen in the works of the brothers W. Grimm and J. Grimm and of J. Tieck and H. C. Andersen.

The first Russian translation of Perrault’s fairy tales, Tales About Enchantresses, With Morals, dates from 1768. The fairy tale Puss in Boots was translated by V. A. Zhukovskii in 1845. Perrault’s fairy-tale subjects inspired the operas Cinderella by G. Rossini and B. Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and the ballets The Sleeping Beauty by P. I. Tchaikovsky and S. S. Prokofiev’s Cinderella.


Contes. [Definitive texts, with introduction by G. Rouger.] Paris [1967]. (Contains bibliography.)
In Russian translation:
Skazki. Introductory article by N. P. Andreev. [Moscow-Leningrad] 1936.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Soriano, M. Les contes de Perrault… [Paris, 1968.] (Contains bibliography.)


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Based on the original story by French writer Charles Perrault, this Sleeping Beauty is a darker tale.
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Until now, it was believed the English tale originated in France shortly before Charles Perrault produced the first written version in the 17th Century.
Charles Perrault (1628-1703), who assisted in designing the Louvre, was the first to write down the fairy tales Puss In Boots, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and others.
The first image that usually comes to mind when Charles Perrault is mentioned is a kindly old man listening to a nurse telling children wonderful fairy tales.
In their research into the origins of the Charles Perrault fairy tale, says Ghernov, they discovered common threads in French, Italian, even Arabic tales that speak of a sleeping princess and the prince who is willing to die for her.
Lewis has published extensively, including two books La Rochefoucauld: The Art of Abstraction and Seeing through the Mother Goose Tales: Visual Turns in the Writings of Charles Perrault.
Classic yarns based on the original stories by German and French folklorists, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault.
CHARLES Perrault penned his treatise on the theory of aesthetics, La peintureu at roughly the same time that he wrote his conte, La Barbebleue.
As a group, the papers document the erosion of the association of architectural form with transcendent values, especially the idea of universal harmony, culminating, at least on paper, in the radical rewriting of Vitruvius by Charles Perrault in the era of Louis XIV, the subject of an impressive discussion by Indra McEwen.
Cowen enlists himself in the much-thinner ranks of the cultural optimists, who include such characters as Charles Perrault, the 17th-century Frenchman who wrote the Mother Goose stories to show that the "modern" world could create an equivalent to Aesop's fables; Baldassare Castiglione, author of the early Renaissance classic The Book of the Courtier and a defender of cultural progress; and that ur-literary critic, Samuel Johnson, who defended writing for money and the "street literature" of his day.