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Charles Perrault

(1628 - 1703)

Charles Perrault was a French author and member of the Académie Française who played a pivotal role in establishing the fairy tale genre with his timeless works. Born in Paris, Perrault started his career as a lawyer before transitioning to the role of a royal servant, which allowed him to participate actively in the intellectual and cultural life of the time. It was in his later years that he turned to writing stories for children, and in 1697, under the pseudonym "Mother Goose," he published "Histoires ou contes du temps passé" (Stories or Tales from Times Past).

This collection, which included "Cinderella," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Sleeping Beauty," and "Puss in Boots," was instrumental in cementing the fairy tale as a distinct literary form. Perrault's keen ability to infuse age-old folk tales with moral lessons and elements of courtly culture was revolutionary, and his works have had profound influence, resonating through generations and shaping the Western cultural imagination.

In addition to his fairy tales, Perrault's writing includes a verse tale of "Donkeyskin" and a series of verse portraits of women at Court, as well as works in other literary genres. His stories' enduring popularity is evident in their numerous adaptations in literature, theater, and film, making Charles Perrault a foundational figure in the world of storytelling.

Short Stories member since February 2024