Perrault's Fairy Tales

Front Cover
Dover Publications, 1969 - Juvenile Fiction - 116 pages
6 Reviews
Here are the original eight stories from the 1697 volume Contes de temps passé by the great Charles Perrault (1628–1703) in a translation that retains the charming and unsentimental simplicity that has won Perrault a permanent position in French literature. These were among the earliest versions of some of our most familiar fairy tales ("Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Puss in Boots," and "Tom Thumb") and are still among the few classic re-tellings of these perennial stories.
In addition to the five well-known tales listed above, Perrault tells three others that are sure to delight any child or adult: "The Fairies," a short and very simple tale of two sisters, one sweet and one spiteful; "Ricky of the Tuft," a very unusual story of a brilliant but ugly prince and a beautiful but stupid princess; and "Blue Beard," a suspense story perhaps more famous as a classic thriller than as a fairy tale. The witty verse morals that Perrault included in the original edition (often omitted in later reprintings) are retained here in verse translations.
This edition also includes 34 extraordinary full-page engravings by Gustave Doré that show clearly why this artist became the foremost illustrator of his time. These illustrations have long been considered the ideal accompaniment to Perrault's fairy tales. In many cases they created the pictorial image that we associate with the stories.
Along with the collections of Andersen, Lang, and the Brothers Grimm, this volume is among the great books of European fairy tales. These stories have been enjoyed by generation after generation of children in many countries, and are here, with magnificent Doré illustrations, waiting to be enjoyed again.

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Review: Perrault's Fairy Tales

User Review  - Ian Hu - Goodreads

The magical tales of Perrault have been an inspiration for many movies and books, and it is easy to see why! Perrault transports us into a world where princesses are in distress, princes save the day ... Read full review

Review: Perrault's Fairy Tales

User Review  - Ana Maria Rînceanu - Goodreads

These stories were predominat in my childhood so now as an adult I have decided to re-read them. I was slightly shocked there was no happy ending at times and also the language used can be at times ... Read full review

About the author (1969)

Charles Perrault was born in Paris on January 12, 1628. He was the son of an upper-class burgeois family and attended the best schools, becoming a lawyer in 1651. After being a lawyer for some time, he was appointed chief clerk in the king's building, superintendent's office in 1664. While there, he induced Colbert to establish a fund called Liste des Bienfaits du Roi, to give pensions to writers and savants not only in France but in Europe. He took part in the creation of the Academy of Sciences as well as the restoration of the Academy of Painting. When the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres was founded by Colbert in 1663, Perrault was made secretary for life. Having written but a few popular poems, he was elected to the French Academy in 1671, and on the day of his inauguration he invited the public to be admitted to the meeting, a privilege that has ever since been continued. Perrault laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from pre-existing folk tales. The best known include Le Petit Chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood) and La Barbe bleue (Bluebeard). His stories continue to be printed and have been adapted to opera, ballet (for example, Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty), theatre, and film. He also wrote Parallèles des Anciens et des Modernes (the Parallels between the Ancients and the Moderns), from 1688 to 1697, which compared the authors of antiquity unfavorably to more modern writers, and caused a debate that lasted for years. Charles Perrault died on May 16, 1703.

Paul Gustave Doré (January 6, 1832 to January 23, 1883) was a French artist, engraver, illustrator and sculptor. Doré worked primarily with wood engraving and steel engraving. In 1853, Doré was asked to illustrate the works of Lord Byron. This commission was followed by additional work for British publishers, including a new illustrated English Bible. A decade later, he illustrated a French edition of Cervantes's Don Quixote, and his depictions of the knight and his squire, Sancho Panza, have become so famous that they have influenced subsequent readers, artists, and stage and film directors' ideas of the physical "look" of the two characters. He continued to illustrate books until his death in Paris following a short illness. The city's Père Lachaise Cemetery contains his grave.

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