As Google has charmingly reminded us with a special Google Doodle by Sophie Diao, today is Charles Perrault's 388th birthday!
The media has jumped into the celebration thanks to the Google Doodle with articles like Charles Perrault: the father of the modern fairytale at The Guardian which offers this quote:
The stories he chose, writes Neil Philip in The Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault, might have been old, but what he did with them was new. “Writing for a jaded audience at the sumptuous court of Louis XIV of France, he entertained them with the simple stories of the people. He gave the tales a more courtly dress and a more knowing air than they would have had in a peasant’s cottage, but he did not make fun of them or spoil them with literary embroidery. He let them speak for themselves, and in the process revealed that what they had to say was not so simple after all.”
Having read and studied Perrault's work in French and English translation over the years, I have only come to appreciate him more and more. He was a master at retelling old tales with new skins and adding details that have become ubiquitous to the tales in modern times. From glass slippers to Sauce Robert, his stories live on over three hundred years later, a legacy I think any of us could wish and hope for.