Charles Perrault Biography


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Charles Perrault was born January 12, 1628, into a wealthy Parisian family. For a short time he attended the College of Beavoir, where he had difficulty in deciding on a course of study. In 1651 he received a degree in law from the University of Orleans. After a few years, however, he gave up law to pursue his interests in literature and architecture. In 1671 he was named to the prestigious French Academy. He then proceeded to outrage some of his colleagues and start a vigorous debate by proclaiming that contemporary authors were superior to ancient ones.

At the age of forty-four Perrault married Marie Guichon, with whom he had three sons (and perhaps a daughter). When his wife died after six years of marriage, he found himself solely responsible for the task of raising their children.

Charles Perrault published his famous collection of fairy tales entitled Contes de ma mere I'oye (The Tales of Mother Goose) in 1697. Although the popularity of these stories spread rapidly, Perrault probably never suspected that they would be his best-remembered works. He died on May 15, 1703, in Paris.

The Glass Slipper was translated and edited by John Bierhorst, an American folklorist best known for his translations and adaptions of Native American stories, such as In the Trial of the Wind: American Indian Poems and Ritual Orations (1971).

(The entire section is 217 words.)