Perrault, Charles

Perrault, Charles

biographical name

(born Jan. 12, 1628, Paris, France—died May 15/16, 1703, Paris) French poet, prose writer, and storyteller. Perrault began to win a literary reputation c. 1660 with light verse and love poetry. He is best remembered for his collection of charming fairy stories written to amuse his children, Contes de ma mère l'oye, or Tales of Mother Goose (1697; see Mother Goose). He spent the rest of his life promoting the study of literature and the arts. A leading member of the Académie Française, he was involved in a famous controversy with Nicholas Boileau on the relative merits of ancient and modern literature; his support for the modern was of landmark significance in the revolt against the constraints of prevailing tradition.

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