The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault

The Complete Fairy Tales by Charles Perrault

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

 

I love fairy tales, but I’ve never read the Perrault tales before. Many of the tales in this collection are familiar, though the endings sometimes differ from the Grimm ones.

This collection includes Little Red Riding-Hood, The Fairy, Blue Beard, The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, The Master Cat or Puss in Boots, Cinderilla or The Little Glass Slipper, Riquet With the Tuft, Little Thumb, The Ridiculous Wishes and Donkey-Skin.

I really liked Blue Beard. I remember that it thoroughly creeped me out when I was a kid and there’s still something of that feeling when I read it. I also love Puss in Boots. I have a fondness for stories about conmen. I also liked Donkey-Skin. It’s one of the princess stories that, unlike Cinderella, is not often mentioned. Probably because it’s about a father that goes mad and wants to marry his own daughter.

Now, Perrault doesn’t just tell the stories. There are also little verses at the end of each story, explaining the moral of the tale.

But to be frank, the moral seems to be very shoehorned-in most of the time. Those tales aren’t really moral tales. Take Puss-in-Boots. We’ve got a miller’s son, who, with the help of a cat, lies blatantly to a king and his daughter, pretending to be a rich Marquis. I love the story, but what really is the moral there? The guy’s a conman.

Or Blue Beard. The guy marries beautiful women, kills them and keeps their bodies in a locked room in the house. Sure, he gets killed at the end but the moral did not fit at all. It’s not the best tale to give a moral lecture on curiosity. I mean, if she didn’t look, he would have killed her eventually.

 

You can download a beautiful ebook edition of Perrault’s fairy tales at the University of Adelaide’s site.

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