“Oh grandmama, what great big teeth you have!”
Charles Perrault’s versions gave classic status to the humble fairy tale, and it is in his telling that the stories of Little Red Riding-Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and the rest have been passed down from the seventeenth century to the present day. Perrault’s tales were enjoyed in the salons of Louis XIV as much as they were loved in the nursery, and it is their wit, humour, and lively detail that capture the imagination of adult and child alike. They transmute into vivid fantasies the hidden fears and conflicts by which children are affected: fears of abandonment, or worse, conflicts with siblings and parents, and the trials of growing up.
In addition to the familiar stories, this edition also includes the three verse tales–the troubling account of patient Griselda, the comic Three Silly Wishes, and the notorious Donkey-Skin. This translation by Christopher Betts captures the tone and flavour of Perrault’s world, and the delightful spirit of the originals.
[I here portray, to put before the eyes / of one both beautiful and young, but wise THE HISTORY OF GRISELDA]
(Oxford University Press, 5 November 2010, first published 11 January 1697, 204 pages, paperback, bought from @AmazonUK, translated by Christopher Betts, set text for @OpenUniversity course)
I’d never heard of Charles Perrault before and was surprised to learn none of the stories were his and that he wrote versions of already known fairy tales. Some of his versions include Puss in Boots, Little Red-Riding Hood, Bluebeard and Cinderella. I enjoyed all of the versions of fairy tales found here, particularly the earlier tales in the collection which are written in verse including Donkey-Skin. This volume contains many lovely illustrations which bring the stories to life. These stories are also a decent length, not too long that they become dull and not so short that they seem empty.