Online Exhibition Contes De Perrault MU KEMP 079 0001

Charles Perrault (1628-1703) is well known for collecting and transcribing oral traditional French fairy tales. While the tales have various origins, they were mainly inspired by the works of Virgil and Apuleius, though there was also inspiration taken from the works of Straparola and Basile. Unlike the Brothers Grimm, Perrault reworked the tales with children in mind as his audience from the start. He added an educational “moralité” – a moral lesson to be taken from the tale – to each story, following the didactic model of La Fontaine’s Fables. Perrault’s versions of the tales were widely read by France’s upper classes when they were first published. The works have a rich history of edition, illustration, and adaptation, and were particularly popular in nineteenth-century France, during which period they were considered a staple of French culture. This 1865 hardcover edition is bound in a highly decorated red cloth with beveled gilt. Text is within color frames by Gustave Fraipont, and there are twelve engravings by Lefrancq with additional illustrations in the text throughout.

Perrault, C., & Saint-Germain, J.T. de. (1865). Contes de Perrault. Librairie de Théodore Lefèvre et Cie, Émile Guérin. Maastricht University Special Collections. Call number: MU KEMP 079