Charles Perrault, (born January 12, 1628, Paris, France--died May 15/16, 1703, Paris), French poet, prose writer, and storyteller, a leading member of the Academie Francaise, who played a prominent part in a literary controversy known as the quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns. He is best remembered for his collection of fairy stories for children, Contes de ma mere l'oye (1697; Tales of Mother Goose). He was the brother of the physician and amateur architect Claude Perrault.
A lawyer by training, Charles Perrault first worked as an official in charge of royal buildings. He began to win a literary reputation in about 1660 with some light verse and love poetry and spent the rest of his life in promoting the study of literature and the arts. In 1671 he was elected to the Academie Francaise, which soon was sharply divided by the dispute between the Ancients and the Moderns. Perrault supported the Moderns, who believed that, as civilization progresses, literature evolves with it and that therefore ancient literature is inevitably more coarse and barbarous than modern literature. His poem Le Siecle de Louis le Grand (1687; "The Age of Louis the Great") set such modern writers as Moliere and Francois de Malherbe above the Classical authors of Greece and Rome. His chief opponent in this controversy was Nicolas Boileau. Perrault's stand was a landmark in the eventually successful revolt against the confines of the prevailing tradition.
Perrault's fairy stories in Mother Goose were written to amuse his children. They include "Little Red Riding Hood," "The Sleeping Beauty," "Puss in Boots," and "Bluebeard," modern versions of half-forgotten folk tales, which Perrault retold in a style that is simple and free from affectation.
After a hundred years the son of the King then reigning, who was of another family from that of the sleeping Princess, was a-hunting on that side of the country, and he asked what those towers were which he saw in the middle of a great thick wood.
Once upon a time there was a Queen who had a son so ugly and so misshapen that it was long disputed whether he had human form. A fairy who was at his birth said, however, that he would be very amiable for all that, since he would have uncommon good sense.
The King's son, who was told that a great princess, whom nobody knew, was come, ran out to receive her. He gave her his hand as she alighted from the coach, and led her into the hall where the company were assembled.
The Authors in the Literary Mythic When asked to name authors of fairy tales, many people now (if theyrecognized at all) would answer the Grimm Brothers or Charles Perrault, andmaybe Hans Christian Andersen.Yet throughout history, fairy reports have been could stories, exceededdown orally by the moms and grandmoms. When the reports began tobecome a literary form, the number and output of female creators vastlyexceeds that of the males. The Grimm Brothers collected all their talesby peasants and edited those to suit their very own audience; most ofPerrault's tales are retellings of..