Charles Perrault

Charles Perrault


Charles Perrault was born on Jan 12, 1628 in France. Charles Perrault's big-screen debut came with Little Red Riding Hood directed by Georges Méliès in 1901. Charles Perrault is known for Le dernier chaperon rouge directed by Jan Kounen, Emmanuelle Béart stars as Le petit chaperon rouge and Gérald Weingand as Le loup. The upcoming new movie Charles Perrault plays is Maleficent: Mistress of Evil which will be released on Oct 18, 2019.

Charles Perrault was a French writer from Paris, and an early member of the Académie Française (French Academy). He was a pioneer in the then-new literary genre of the fairy tale, publishing "Stories or Tales from Past Times" (Histoires ou contes du temps passé, 1697). He combined elements from older folk tales with fantasy depictions of contemporary French society. His most popular fairy tales were "Bluebeard" (Barbe Bleue), "Cinderella" (Cendrillon), "Little Red Riding Hood" (Le Petit Chaperon Rouge), "Puss in Boots" (Le Maître chat ou le Chat botté), and "Sleeping Beauty" (La Belle au bois dormant). Perrault was a main influence on the Brothers Grimm, who published German variations of some of his tales. Several of his tales have received multiple adaptations in film, television, and theatre.In 1628, Perrault was born to an affluent bourgeois family. He was the seventh child of Pierre Perrault and Paquette Le Clerc. His most notable brothers were the pioneering hydrologist Pierre Perrault (c. 1608-1680) and the architect, physician and anatomist Claude Perrault (1613-1688).Perrault was trained in law, but chose to follow a career in government service. In 1663, Perrault was appointed as the first secretary of the "Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres", a learned society whose initial task was to compose or obtain Latin inscriptions to be copied on public monuments and medals. The society was founded by the influential minister of state Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), and Perrault served as Colbert's administrative aide.In 1669, Perrault proposed to Louis XIV of France (1638 -1715, reigned 1643-1715) the construction of a group of 39 fountains in the labyrinth of Versailles. Each fountain would represent one of Aesop's fables. The fountains were constructed between 1672 and 1677. Once the work was completed, Perrault published guidebook for the labyrinth.In 1674, Perrault wrote a book in defense of the opera "Alceste" (1674) by Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632 - 1687). The opera was an adaptation of the Greek play "Alcestis" (438 BC) by Euripides. Traditionalists denounced Lully for deviating too much from the story of the original work, while Perrault defended the merits of Lully's work. The controversy over the opera led to the so-called "Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns". Traditionalist and modernist scholars of the French court were arguing over whether ancient literature was superior to modern works, or whether modern literature had far surpassed its predecessor. Perrault became a leader of the modernist faction.In 1682, Perrault faced mandatory retirement from his government posts at the age of 56. Colbert wanted to replace Perrault with one of his own sons, and was no longer interested in advancing Perrault's career. Following Colbert's death, Perrault found himself targeted by Colbert's surviving political rivals.In 1686, Perrault made his first attempt to write "serious" epic poetry. He wrote an epic about the life of the Roman writer and bishop Paulinus of Nola (c. 354-431). The poem was poorly received, and Perrault was ridiculed by the satirist Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux (1636-1711).In 1691, Perrault experimented with the fairy tale genre by writing the novella "La Marquise de Salusses ou la Patience de Griselidis". In 1693, he wrote the fairy tale "The Ridiculous Wishes". In the story, an impoverished couple are granted three wishes by an ancient god, but waste the opportunity to improve their life through poorly-thought wishes. In 1694, Perrault wrote the fairy tale "Donkeyskin". In the story, a widowed king wants to marry his own daughter (who resembles her mother), but the unwilling girl is protected by her fairy godmother. These stories were more warmly received by Perrault's associates.In 1695, Perrault compiled the first edition of "Stories or Tales from Past Times". He collected his imaginative fairy tales, concluding each of them with a "rhymed, well-defined and cynical moral". In 1697, the work received its first printed edition. It became widely popular, with eight reprints in Perrault's lifetime.In 1699, Perrault published his translation of the fables compiled by the Italian writer Gabriele Faerno (1510-1561). This translation was popular in England during the 18th century, and was used as a school textbook. It was Perrault's last significant work. Perrault died in 1703, at the age of 75. Most of his works fell out of fashion during the decades following his death, but his fairy tales remained in print. They have remained popular for centuries, ensuring an enduring fame for Perrault.

  • Birthday

    Jan 12, 1628
  • Place of Birth

    Paris, France

Known For

Movies & TV Shows