Charles Perrault

Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

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.)


References in periodicals archive ?
El hecho de que el soberano aparezca dormido en una de las telas de la serie confirma que la version plasmada por Burne-Jones es la alemana, dado que en la de Charles Perrault los reyes abandonan el castillo antes de que la corte quede sumida en el sueno.
SCREENPLAY, Chris Weitz, BASED ON Disney's Cinderella properties and the fairy tale written by Charles Perrault.
The one act opera Bluebeard's Castle is loosely based on the French literary tale by Charles Perrault.
The Frenchman Charles Perrault (1628-1703) published a collection which included Cinderella and Red Riding Hood.
The plays are adapted by director Judy Smith from classic original tales by Robert Southey and Charles Perrault.
A Charles Perrault B Hans Andersen C Madame d'Aulnoy D Brothers Grimm QUESTION 11 - for 11 points: In which county is the seaside town of Brancaster?
Cinderella is a ballet composed by Sergey Prokofiev while the scenario was written by Nikolay Volkov based on the classic fairy tale of Charles Perrault.
Little Red Riding Hood was told by the Brothers Grimm 200 years ago but that version was based on an earlier, 17th century, story written by the Frenchman Charles Perrault, which itself derived from an older, oral tradition of storytelling in France, Austria and northern Italy.
This fairy tale -- originally written by Charles Perrault -- will be danced by the Bolshoi troupe and transmitted live in Empire Premiere Dec.
De la Caperucita roja de herencia medieval, en la cual el lobo descuartizaba a la abuelita y obligaba a la nina a comersela para luego abusar de ella, poco quedo en la version de Charles Perrault de 1697.
Massenet is supposed to have claimed that he was much more comfortable writing about bad girls than good ones, and that might have something to do with the neglect that his fourteenth opera, based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault known to us as Cinderella, has suffered.
The story we are most familiar with serves as the base of the ballet, and was written by Charles Perrault.