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Perrault's Fairy Tales

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  7,950 ratings  ·  150 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," "Li ...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published June 1st 1969 by Dover Publications (first published 1697)
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Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Goose Girl by Shannon HaleBeauty by Robin McKinleyThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanFairest by Gail Carson Levine
The Best Fairytales and Retellings
202nd out of 1,796 books — 7,349 voters
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryLes Misérables by Victor HugoThe Stranger by Albert CamusThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Best French Literature
73rd out of 598 books — 1,122 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Petra X
Edit Riquet with the Tuft - review of a Perrault fairy tale that is mystifyingly not a Disney movie.

When I was very young, my grandmother had a set of very small books with uncut pages. One of the books was an early edition of Charles Perrault's fairy tales with hand-printed woodblock illustrations. Another was Grimms'. Naturally I cut the pages and read the stories which were bloody and didn't always have nice endings. At least one of the ugly sisters tumbled into a well to be devoured by snake

Charles Perrault (1628 – 1703) was a controversial figure who argued before the Académie française (at his initiation ceremony(!)) that "modern" French literature was superior to that of the Greco-Romans. That enlivened the proceedings... Later, he elaborated his reasons and included the less than convincing argument that because the reign of Louis XIV was so enlightened, his age was superior in all respects to that of the ancients. Apparently, he spent part of his life writing epic poems with C
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 28, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Children's)
Shelves: 501, childrens, collection
The original fairy tales of Charles Perrault (1628-1703) before they were bastardized or sanitized (depending on your view) by Disney. Perrault, however, did not invent most of these stories himself. He also based some of them on existing French folklores. Perrault was said to be the one who laid the foundations for a new literary genre: the fairy tale. Many of Perrault’s stories were rewritten by the Brothers Grimm, continue to be printed and have been adapted to opera, ballet (such as Tchaikov ...more

Once upon a time, long before farmboys arose to defeat Dark Lords and even longer before the rise of imagined histories attempting to be gritty in a way that removed most moral compasses from fantasy, there was the fairytale. A simple little literary beast masquerading as a story with a morality play contained within its fascinating bounds. A little creation marketed for children but one which contained deeper adult themes. Fairytales did not need to attempt to be gritty, they simply were in how
In addition to the usual list of difficulties encountered when learning any foreign language, French has a few specific wrinkles of its own. In particular, there are certain verb tenses that have fallen into disuse, so that they are no longer used when speaking, but may still be encountered in written French, particularly in older texts.

Most intermediate French students will have seen at least one of these, the so-called "simple past tense", or passé simple. Although it has been completely repla
Finalmente una bella traduzione delle fiabe di Perrault! Eh sì, perché tra adattamenti, semplificazioni, retelling e così via - peraltro quasi tutti pietosi e omologati allo stile Disney - finiamo per dimenticarci l’origine di tanta grazia. Sfogliando queste pagine (ri)scopriamo che la bella addormentata non si svegliò con un bacio. Che Cappuccetto Rosso non venne salvata dal cacciatore. E che il re di Pelle d’Asino voleva sposare nientemeno che sua figlia! Soprattutto, troviamo uno stile impecc ...more
Sep 11, 2011 Muphyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Infinite Playlist
Not having read any of Perrault's fairytales before, I didn't quite realise what I was in for... And people say that Grimm's fairytales are gruesome - huh, think again and read Perrault's!

There's an ogre appearing in about almost every single one of the eight tales in this edition, and, of course, they love eating fresh flesh (i.e. little people) and do so without delay. Yet in a strange way, I found these tales delightful and just so different to the Grimm's; in fact, they made me laugh out lou
Ana Rînceanu
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 harsh, but Charles Perrault lived in the 17th century so there was no need to use kid-gloves. But what I enjoy most is that after the traditional story there is a moral at the end in the form of a poem that even as adults we can enjoy.
La magie de Perrault opère à tous les coups. Chacun de ces contes recèle son lot de princesses endormies, de bottes ensorcelées et d'ogres affamés : tous les éléments sont réunis pour des récits merveilleux qui enchanteront petits et grands. La plupart se terminent par une ou deux moralités, mais le contenu de ces contes est si riche que le lecteur se sent libre de pouvoir les interpréter de diverses façons.
Fiona Robson
This was fascinating. I only really read it because of its connections with the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery and Le Serpent Rouge, but enjoyed it nontheless.
Eu adoro estes livrinhos de bolso da Europa-América.
São baratos, com uma diversidade de títulos que satisfaz qualquer leitor mais exigente e, na minha opinião, de boa qualidade. O único senão é a letrinha quase microscópica que me custa tanto ler, principalmente à noite.

É curioso que a versão que eu conhecia e a original aqui retratada neste livro sejam tão diferentes.
Por exemplo, a história do Capuchinho Vermelho foi bastante alterada, assim como o Polegarzinho. Mas outras mantiveram-se intacta
En realidad lo que he leído es la edición española de Alianza, pero no la he visto por GoodReads.

Siempre hay bastante discusión sobre los "verdaderos" cuentos de hadas. Que si Grimm, que si Andersen, comparaciones con las adaptaciones posteriores de Disney o Tv... y Perrault. Pero siempre que se habla de estos temas me da la sensación de que Perrault queda como en un 2º plano.

Charles Perrault fue un recopilador francés del siglo XVII. Sus narraciones están enfocadas a varios sectores nobles de l
Giving this 5 stars simply because I'm a huge sucker for fairy tales. However, don't let the term "fairy tale" fool you, as the stories in this book are the original French "conte de fées" versions of many Disney adaptations. I'm not sure if I would suggest this for children, however the ambiguity will most likely be lost on them anyway so what could it hurt? As the description says and as I've already pointed out, this is a compilation of fairy tales in their original French form (Cinderella, S ...more
Germano Dalcielo
Soprassiedo sulla traduzione arcaica e mi soffermo piuttosto sull’intramontabilità di alcune fiabe (su tutte Pollicino e Cappuccetto rosso), tanto profonde e pregne di "morale" quanto attuali. Rilette a distanza di vent’anni, mi meraviglio che siano ancora oggi considerate fiabe per bambini. Pensiamo proprio alla prima che ho appena citato: si parla di abbandono di minore, povertà, fame, problema delle nascite, sopravvivenza e (scampata) morte. Siamo sicuri che siano argomenti adatti a dei bambi ...more
Sep 19, 2015 Wanda marked it as to-read
19 SEP 2015 - I have just finished the Jolie Maleficent. Magnificent!

The original fairy tales of Perrault are available for download at Project Gutenberg.
Here -
Excerpt from my full review at

I resent the United Kingdom for being so far away from my own home, mostly because they have the loveliest books. Sometimes, I like to go on Penguin’s site and browse their UK inventory, knowing that as soon as I fill my digital shopping cart they will politely, regretfully inform me that I do not live far enough outside the States.

Thankfully, I was able to snag two gorgeous books through an independent Amazon seller a few weeks ago: one, a
Fabiola G.
Non si è mai troppo grandi!

1) I racconti di Mamma l'Oca di Charles Perrault
- Cappuccetto rosso: 5*;
- Barbablù: 4 e *;
- Il Gatto con gli stivali: 5*;
- Cenerentola: 3*;
- Le Fate: 4-*;
- La Bella addormentata nel bosco: 3 e *;
- Pollicino: 4-*;
- Enrichetto dal Ciuffo: 4-/4*;
- Pelle d'Asino: 4*.

2) Le Fate alla moda di Madame d'Aulnoy
- Il Nano Giallo: 4 e *;
- Il ramoscello d'oro: 4-*;
- La principessa Rosetta: 3*;
- Graziosa e Persinetto: 3+*;
- La principessa Bella-Stella: 5-*;
- I
Ce livre m'a replongé dans les contes de mon enfance, et c'est avec plaisir que l'on retrouve le Petit Chaperon rouge ou le Chat botté... Les morales sont aussi intéressantes, et plus originales que je ne le pensais. Cependant l'histoire reste simple, peu profonde et parfois confuse.
Los de prosa me gustaron más que los de verso y con el de Pulgarcito tuve un déjà vu con Hansel y Gretel, por lo menos al principio.

De quedarme con alguno, supongo que me quedo con el gato con botas y con caperucita.
Ian Hu
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 and evil beings strive to undermine the good wills of protagonists.

There would be some tales one is bound to recognize, such as Cinderella or Puss in Boots. If you are reading the version which is illustrated by Gustave Dore, then the enjoyment is doubled as one gets to look at the woodcuts and foll
Emma Jones
As someone keenly interested in both fairy tales and literary history, this was of course a must read. Though the origin of some of the tales are disputed, some said to be folk tales adapted by Perrault, his contribution to the genre is indisputable. As interesting as it is to read these tales in their original forms, before being adapted by the Grimm brothers or many others that followed (and indeed he has a flair for narrative far greater than the famous pair) it is difficult to ignore the ram ...more
N.J. Ramsden
I was curiously nonplussed by these stories. Perhaps the translation is a little on the flat side; perhaps the narratives themselves are just a bit samey; perhaps the world in which Perrault was writing produced something that just doesn't excite me in ways other tellings have done.

As it turns out, Perrault's stories are less interesting than the facts surrounding them, and in this edition (Oxford Classics, ed. Betts) Betts gives us some interesting material comparisons in the brief appendices.
I have always been fascinated in retellings of fairy tales, but somehow, I've not read the "originals" since I was in fourth of fifth grade. Now that I'm the selector for fairy tales at work, I am surrounded by them daily. So when I saw Perrault sitting on the shelf the other day, I took it eagerly.

Interesting things to note:

1) Many people consider original fairy tales to be written by the Grimm brothers. (They were actually compiled and rewritten...) Many forget Perrault's tales which were com
Christopher Roberts
Many people have written in these reviews that Perrault had based his stories on previous folktales. While this may be true of Bluebeard and Sleeping Beauty it is not likely true of any of the other stories but nobody knows for sure. Little Red Riding Hood in particular seems to be a story that originated with this author. Perrault himself plays with the ideas of these stories originating from an oral history by sometimes giving two versions of events. as if he had heard the story from multiple ...more
This book is one of my favorite book from my childhood : Charles Perrault's stories are some of the most famous fairy tales known, and especially in France, where it's a must-read for children.
I own the french version of this book, which contains eight fairy tales : Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Diamonds and Toads, Cinderella, Riquet with the Tuft and Hop o' My Thumb.

Like in most fairy tales, the characters are heavily stereotyped (the sweet and innocent pr
This was a disappointing book, but that isn't the fault of Angela Carter... I've wanted to read Carter for a long time, ever since a writer I admire recommended her to me. Unfortunately I chose the wrong Carter to begin with. That's because this book isn't really Carter at all, but her own adjusted translations of a set of fairy tales written by Charles Perrault.

I've never really been a fan of fairy tales, and I didn't even enjoy Calvino's collection of Italian folk tales (and Calvino is my favo
After reading Grimm Tales compiled by Philip Pullman, I was interested to read more fairy tales. Angela Carter’s name is synonym with fairy tales and her inspiration begins when she translated Charles Perrault’s classical collection of fairy tales.

If I am right (because I was just born then), the feminists thinking gave birth in the 1970′s and when Angela Carter translated these fairy tales, she gave it a feminist twist and write an excerpt that carries the title “Moral” at the end of the 10 fai
When you hear fairy tales, what first comes into your mind? Most probably like anybody else, you would associate it with princesses yearning for true love and godmothers or fairies helping them to achieve that. While most fairy tales do have such plot, it is not all true. In this translation of Perrault’s eight beloved classic (the original was written in French), you will see for yourself that there’s more to ‘fairy tales’ than what its name suggests.

Perrault’s Fairy Tales contains some tales w
Le fiabe di Perrault sono meravigliose, e questa edizione è bellissima: ha un'introduzione di Bruno Bettelheim, una breve presentazione del contesto in cui Perrault è vissuto e ha scritto, e alcune illustrazioni di Gustave Doré. Dimentichiamo la Disney, dimentichiamo le riscritture, qui si torna alle origini e si fa sul serio. Libro consigliatissimo a chiunque, anche ai non amanti del genere, perché queste fiabe fanno parte dell'immaginario comune ed è giusto che siano conosciute anche nella lor ...more
Jean Ahn
I read lots of fairy tales growing up. One of the few books as a present from my father in English was a compilation of Fairy Tales by different authors.
Fairy Tales or Folk Tales is a great way to look into cultures as well as how the people lived and thought in ancient or olden times.
It was fun reading this books as a love a fairy tales and it has a different versions of a same fairy tales in Appendix for the readers to refer to as well.
If an adult who is interested in anthropology or fairy tal
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Charles Perrault was a French author who laid foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, and whose best known tales, offered as if they were pre-existing folk tales, include: Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, Cinderella, Bluebeard, Hop o' My Thumb), Diamonds and Toads, Patient Griselda, The Ridiculous Wishes...

Perrault's most famous stories are still in print today
More about Charles Perrault...

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Good manners are not easy
They need a little care,
But when we least expect it
Bring rewards both rich and rare.


Brute force or bribes of diamonds
Bend others to your will,
But gentle words have greater power
And gain more conquests still.”
“The less there is of eloquence, the more there is of love.” 4 likes
More quotes…