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Little Red Riding Hood

Charles Perrault



Charles Perrault (1628-1703), Paris, was a member of the Académie Française & a leading intellectual of his time.  A lawyer by profesion, since 1651.

Ironically, his dialogue Parallèles des anciens et des modernes, 1688-1697, which compared the authors of antiquity unfavorably to modern writers, served as a forerunner for the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, an era that was not always receptive to tales of magic and fantasy.

Perrault could have not predicted that his reputation for future generations would rest almost entirely on a slender book published in 1697: Histoires ou contes du temps passé, avec des moralités: Contes de ma mère l'Oye.

Contes de ma mère l'Oye (1697), Histoires ou Contes du temps passé, are just eight tales published under the name of Charles Perrault’s son, Pierre Perrault d'Armancour, who was ten years old at the time. One of those eight tales is Le Petit Chaperon Rouge

Frontpiece of 
Le petit chaperon rouge (Perrault, Ms de 1695) New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library


This Dutch edition of Simon Fokke, with drawings by Jacques de Sève, was published 45 years after the original edition.

There are eight pictures at the beginning of each tale; they are quite different from traditional ones not only in their style but in their theme as well.


This illustration in Le Petit Chaperon rouge shows a great deal of voracious violence.