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The Tales of Mother Goose: By Charles Perrault - Illustrated: A Classic Collection of Stories with Morals and Magic


The Tales of Mother Goose: By Charles Perrault - Illustrated Charles Perrault




Have you ever wondered where some of the most beloved fairy tales came from? Who wrote them and why? And how did they look like in their original form? If you are curious about these questions, then you should read this article about The Tales of Mother Goose, a collection of stories by Charles Perrault, one of the pioneers of the fairy tale genre. You will learn about the origins and history of these tales, the influence and legacy of Charles Perrault, the illustrations that accompanied his stories, the most famous tales in his collection, and their modern adaptations and variations. By the end of this article, you will have a deeper appreciation for these timeless stories that have enchanted generations of readers.




The Tales Of Mother Goose: By Charles Perrault - Illustrated Charles Perrault


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The Origins and History of the Tales of Mother Goose




The term Mother Goose refers to a mythical figure who is said to be the source of many folktales and nursery rhymes. The name first appeared in print in 1695, in a French book titled Histoires ou contes du temps passé, avec des moralités, which translates to Stories or Tales from Past Times, with Morals. The book was written by Charles Perrault, a French author who lived from 1628 to 1703. He was a member of the Académie Française, a prestigious institution that regulates the French language and literature. He was also a courtier to King Louis XIV, who was known as the Sun King.


Perrault's book contained eight stories that he claimed were told by his mother or his nurse when he was a child. He also added a frontispiece that showed an old woman telling stories to a group of children under a sign that read Contes de ma Mère l'Oye, which means Tales of My Mother Goose. This was probably a reference to an earlier collection of oral tales that was published in 1694 by another French writer named Jean de La Fontaine. La Fontaine's book was titled Contes et nouvelles en vers de M. de La Fontaine, which means Tales and Novels in Verse by Mr. de La Fontaine. It included a story called La Mère Oye, which means The Mother Goose, about a fairy who helps a young prince find his true love.


The stories in Perrault's book were not original, but rather adaptations of existing folktales and literary works from various sources, such as Italian, German, and Scandinavian traditions. Perrault added his own style and flair to the stories, making them more elegant, witty, and moralistic. He also wrote a short verse at the end of each story that summarized the lesson or the moral that the reader should learn from it. For example, at the end of Little Red Riding Hood, he wrote:



Children, especially attractive, well bred young ladies, should never talk to strangers, for if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf. I say "wolf," but there are various kinds of wolves. There are also those who are charming, quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet, who pursue young women at home and in the streets. And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all.


Perrault's book was an instant success and was translated into many languages. It was also one of the first books to be illustrated with engravings that depicted scenes from the stories. The illustrations were done by various artists, some of whom were anonymous, while others were well-known, such as Antoine Clouzier and François Chauveau. The illustrations added another dimension to the stories, making them more vivid and appealing to the readers.


The Influence and Legacy of Charles Perrault




Charles Perrault is widely regarded as one of the founders of the fairy tale genre, along with other writers such as Giambattista Basile, Hans Christian Andersen, and the Brothers Grimm. He was the first to use the term contes de fées, which means fairy tales, in his book Parallèles des anciens et des modernes, which means Parallels between the Ancients and the Moderns. He wrote this book in 1688 as part of a literary debate that was raging in France at the time. The debate was about whether the ancient writers and artists were superior to the modern ones or vice versa. Perrault argued that the modern ones were better because they had more imagination and creativity. He used his own fairy tales as examples of how the modern writers could invent new genres and forms of expression that were not bound by the rules and conventions of the classical ones.


Perrault's fairy tales have had a lasting impact on the culture and literature of many countries and regions. They have inspired countless adaptations and variations in different media and formats, such as books, films, plays, musicals, operas, ballets, comics, games, and more. They have also influenced other writers and artists who have borrowed elements or themes from his stories or created their own versions or interpretations of them. Some of these writers and artists include Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman, Stephen Sondheim, Walt Disney, Tim Burton, Hayao Miyazaki, and many more.


Perrault's fairy tales have also become part of the collective consciousness and memory of many people around the world. They have shaped our understanding and expectations of what a fairy tale is and what it should do. They have taught us valuable lessons and morals that we can apply to our own lives. They have entertained us with their magic and wonder, their humor and irony, their romance and adventure, their horror and tragedy. They have made us laugh and cry, hope and fear, dream and imagine.


The Illustrations of Charles Perrault's Tales




As mentioned earlier, one of the distinctive features of Perrault's book was that it was illustrated with engravings that showed scenes from the stories. These illustrations were not only decorative but also informative and expressive. They helped the readers visualize the characters and settings of the stories. They also conveyed the mood and tone of the stories. They sometimes added details or elements that were not in the text or emphasized certain aspects or themes that were important or relevant to the stories.


The illustrations were done by different artists who had different styles and techniques. Some of them were more realistic and detailed than others. Some of them used more colors than others. Some of them focused more on the human figures than others. Some of them used more symbols or allegories than others. Some examples of these illustrations are:



and retold in many forms and versions by different writers and artists. It has also inspired many other stories and characters that follow a similar plot or theme. Some of these include The Master Cat, The Cat in the Hat, Garfield, Shrek 2, Kung Fu Panda, and more.


The moral that Perrault wrote at the end of this story suggests that he wanted to praise his readers, especially young men, for being smart, resourceful, and adventurous. He also wanted to show them that appearance and status are not as important as wit and courage. He also wanted to show them that a good friend or ally can make a big difference in one's life.


Bluebeard




This story is about a rich and powerful man who has a blue beard and a bad reputation. He has been married several times, but no one knows what happened to his previous wives. He proposes to one of his neighbors' daughters, who reluctantly agrees to marry him. He takes her to his castle and gives her the keys to all the rooms. He tells her that she can go anywhere she wants, except for one small room at the end of a corridor. He then leaves for a business trip and tells her not to enter that room under any circumstances. However, she is overcome by curiosity and decides to open the forbidden room. She is shocked to find the corpses of his previous wives hanging on hooks. She drops the key in a pool of blood and tries to hide it from her husband. However, he notices the blood on the key and realizes that she has disobeyed him. He threatens to kill her and add her to his collection of wives. She begs for time to pray and calls for help from her sister and brothers, who arrive just in time to save her. They kill Bluebeard and inherit his fortune.


This story is one of the most gruesome and terrifying ones in Perrault's collection. It has also been adapted and retold in many forms and versions by different writers and artists. It has also inspired many other stories and characters that follow a similar plot or theme. Some of these include Jane Eyre, Rebecca, The Bloody Chamber, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, and more.


The moral that Perrault wrote at the end of this story suggests that he wanted to warn his readers, especially young women, about the dangers of curiosity and disobedience. He also wanted to show them that marriage is not a game or a fantasy, but a serious and sacred commitment. He also wanted to show them that evil deeds will not go unpunished and that justice will prevail.


The Modern Adaptations and Variations of the Tales of Mother Goose




In this section, we will briefly mention some of the modern adaptations and variations of Perrault's tales that have been created by different writers and artists in different media and cultures. We will also mention some of the changes or innovations that they have made to the original stories.


The Disney Versions




One of the most influential and popular adaptations of Perrault's tales are the animated films produced by Walt Disney Studios. Disney has adapted four of Perrault's tales into feature-length films: Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Little Mermaid (1989), and Tangled (2010). Disney has also adapted some elements or characters from Perrault's tales into other films, such as Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), Frozen (2013), and more.


Disney's adaptations have made several changes or innovations to Perrault's tales, such as:



  • Adding animal or magical sidekicks or companions to the main characters, such as mice, birds, fairies, dragons, crabs, chameleons, etc.



  • Adding musical numbers or songs that express the emotions or motivations of the characters or advance the plot.



  • Adding humor or comedy to lighten the mood or tone of the stories or contrast with the drama or tragedy.



  • Adding romance or love interests to the main characters or developing their relationships more.



  • Adding villains or antagonists who oppose or challenge the main characters or create conflicts or obstacles for them.



  • Changing the endings or outcomes of the stories to make them more happy or satisfying.



Disney's adaptations have been widely praised and acclaimed for their artistic and technical achievements, their storytelling and character development, their musical and visual appeal, and their cultural and social impact. They have also been widely criticized and contested for their deviations or distortions from the original stories, their stereotypes or biases, their commercialization or commodification, and their ideological or political implications.


The Musical Versions




Another popular and creative adaptation of Perrault's tales are the musicals that have been written and performed on stage. Musicals are theatrical works that combine songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. They are usually accompanied by live orchestras or bands. They are usually performed in theaters or auditoriums that have large stages, elaborate sets, costumes, lighting, and sound systems. They are usually attended by large audiences who pay for tickets to watch them.


Some of the musicals that have been based on Perrault's tales are:



  • Cinderella, a musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, first performed in 1957. It is based on Disney's film version of Perrault's tale. It features songs such as In My Own Little Corner, Impossible, Ten Minutes Ago, and Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?.



  • Into the Woods, a musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, first performed in 1986. It is based on several fairy tales by Perrault and others, such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel. It features songs such as No One Is Alone, Agony, Children Will Listen, and Last Midnight.



  • The Phantom of the Opera, a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart, first performed in 1986. It is based on a novel by Gaston Leroux that was influenced by Perrault's tale of Bluebeard. It features songs such as The Music of the Night, All I Ask of You, The Phantom of the Opera, and Masquerade.



m>, Who I'd Be, This Is Our Story, and Freak Flag.


  • Matilda The Musical, a musical by Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly, first performed in 2010. It is based on a novel by Roald Dahl that was influenced by Perrault's tale of Cinderella. It features songs such as Naughty, When I Grow Up, Revolting Children, and My House.



Musicals based on Perrault's tales have been widely praised and acclaimed for their artistic and musical achievements, their storytelling and character development, their humor and emotion, and their cultural and social impact. They have also been widely criticized and contested for their deviations or distortions from the original stories, their stereotypes or biases, their commercialization or commodification, and their ideological or political implications.


The Parody Versions




A third type of adaptation of Perrault's tales are the parody versions that have been created by different writers and comedians. Parodies are works that imitate or mock the style or content of another work, usually for humorous or satirical purposes. They are usually written or performed in a different genre or medium than the original work. They are usually intended to make fun of or criticize the original work or its author, or to comment on some aspect or issue related to it.


Some of the parody versions that have been based on Perrault's tales are:



  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, a picture book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, published in 1989. It is a parody of Little Red Riding Hood and other fairy tales that feature wolves as villains. It tells the story from the wolf's point of view, who claims that he was framed by the pigs and that he only wanted to borrow a cup of sugar.



  • Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, a book by James Finn Garner, published in 1994. It is a parody of several fairy tales by Perrault and others, such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, and Little Red Riding Hood. It retells the stories in a politically correct way, avoiding any language or content that might be considered offensive or discriminatory.



  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, a picture book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, published in 1992. It is a parody of several fairy tales by Perrault and others, such as Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, The Frog Prince, and Jack and the Beanstalk. It changes the stories in absurd and ridiculous ways, making fun of their logic and conventions.



  • Shrek!, a picture book by William Steig, published in 1990. It is a parody of several fairy tales by Perrault and others, such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, and Beauty and the Beast. It tells the story of an ugly and mean ogre who falls in love with an equally ugly and mean princess.



m>, a novel by William Goldman, published in 1973. It is a parody of several fairy tales by Perrault and others, such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel. It tells the story of a young woman who is kidnapped by a pirate and rescued by her true love, who faces many dangers and obstacles along the way.


Parody versions based on Perrault's tales have been widely praised and acclaimed for their creativity and originality, their humor and wit, their insight and commentary, and their cultural and social impact. They have also been widely criticized and contested for their disrespect or irreverence, their distortion or exaggeration, their trivialization or simplification, and their ideological or political implications.


Conclusion




In conclusion, we have seen that The Tales of Mother Goose by Charles Perrault are a collection of stories that have fascinated and influenced generations of readers and writers. We have learned about the origins and history of these tales, the influence and legacy of Charles Perrault, the illustrations that accompanied his stories, the most famous tales in his collection, and their modern adaptations and variations. We have also seen that these tales have various themes and morals that Perrault intended to convey to his readers, as well as various interpretations and criticisms that different critics and readers have made of them.


We hope that this article has given you a deeper appreciation for these timeless stories that have enchanted us with their magic and wonder, their humor and irony, their romance and adventure, their horror and tragedy. We hope that you will continue to read and enjoy these stories, as well as discover new ones that are inspired by them or related to them. We hope that you will also share these stories with others, especially with children who can learn from them and be inspired by them.


Thank you for reading this article. If you liked it, please share it with your friends or leave a comment below. If you have any questions or suggestions about this topic or any other topic related to literature or culture, please let us know. We would love to hear from you.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the topic of this article:



Who is Mother Goose?


  • Mother Goose is a mythical figure who is said to be the source of many folktales and nursery rhymes. The name first appeared in print in 1695, in a French book titled Histoires ou contes du temps passé, avec des moralités, which translates to Stories or Tales from Past Times, with Morals. The book was written by Charles Perrault, a French author who lived from 1628 to 1703.



Who is Charles Perrault?


  • Charles Perrault is a French author who lived from 1628 to 1703. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of the fairy tale genre. He wrote a book titled Histoires ou contes du temps passé, avec des moralités, which translates to Stories or Tales from Past Times, with Morals. The book contained eight stories that he claimed were told by his mother or his nurse when he was a child. He also added a frontispiece that showed an old woman telling stories to a group of children under a sign that read Contes de ma Mère l'Oye, which means Tales of My Mother Goose.



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