This Day in Literary History: January 27, 1687 – Charles Perrault and the Quarrel Between the Ancients and the Moderns

On this day in literary history in 1687, Charles Perrault’s poem “The Age of Louis the Great” was read at the French Academy. Perrault’s poem was part of the literary quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns, and Perrault was a leader of the Modern faction. However, Charles Perrault is more widely known as the father of fairy tales, having written some of the most memorable and beloved stories in history, such as “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Puss in Boots.”

Perrault was one of the most influential French authors of the late 1600s and early 1700s, having written a plethora of poetry, novels, and plays. He is best known for his fairy tales, such as “Cinderella” and “Little Red Riding Hood,” but he also wrote many other works of poetry during his career.

His poems often featured classical themes, yet they were presented in a modern style that was fresh and accessible to the public. Perrault was a master of using lyrical language and metaphors to create vivid and timeless imagery that has endured the test of time. He is remembered today for his unique blend of traditional and progressive ideas that he explored through writing.

Born in Paris in 1628, Charles Perrault started writing at an early age and quickly gained recognition for his works which often tackled social issues such as gender roles. However, Perrault is also known for his poetry. His poetry often tackled social injustice, challenging accepted gender roles and exploring the complexity of human nature.

Many of his poems are seen as more of an art form than a narrative—instead relying on poetry to tell a story. He also explored various moral questions, like what it means to be responsible for oneself and how one should interact with others. Perrault’s legacy lives on as his fairy tales continue to be told worldwide. By writing these timeless stories of morality, fantasy, and adventure, Perrault has remained an iconic figure in literature, and literature lovers everywhere revere him still as the “Father of Fairy Tales.”

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