Charles Perrault, 1628-1703

Portrait

Biographical note

French author who laid foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale. In 1695, when he was 67, he decided to dedicate himself to his children and published Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals (Histoires ou Contes du Temps passé) (1697), with the subtitle: Tales of Mother Goose (Les Contes de ma Mère l'Oie). Its publication made him suddenly widely-known beyond his own circles and marked the beginnings of a new literary genre, the fairy tale. In the tales, he used images from around him, such as the Chateau Ussé for Sleeping Beauty and in Puss-in-Boots, the Marquis of the Château d'Oiron, and contrasted his folktale subject matter, with details and asides and subtext drawn from the world of fashion. He died in Paris in 1703 at age 75.

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