Charles Perrault was a French author and member of the prestigious Acad?mie Fran?aise. Taking his inspiration from folk tales, Perrault created the fairy tale genre, including such enduring tales as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Puss in Boots, and Sleeping Beauty, which were published in 1697 as part of his Tales of Mother Goose. Amongst the most influential literary figures in 17th century France, Perrault took part in the creation of the Academy of Sciences, the restoration of the Academy of Painting, and was secretary of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres. He also initiated the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns, and led the Modern faction which argued that the literature from the century of Louis XIV was superior to that of the ancients. Perrault s work served as an inspiration for the Brothers Grimm, and continues to be adapted for the stage, opera, ballet, and film.
‘She promised her godmother that she would not fail to leave the ball before midnight, and away she went, beside herself with delight...’
Charles Perrault’s time-honoured stories have been passed down from the seventeenth century to the present day, giving us the classic fairy tales that people of all ages know and adore: Cinderella, with the glass slipper that will fit her foot alone; the princess who is cursed to sleep for a hundred years until true love’s kiss wakes her; Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf, and many, many more.
Like the Brothers Grimm after him, Perrault took childhood fears and turned them into inspiriting fantasies. Full of humanity and a surprising wit, the impact these fables has had on imaginations young and old cannot be overstated.