3 of 6 | Moralités
From this story one learns that children,
Especially young lasses,
Pretty, courteous and well-bred,
Do very wrong to listen to strangers,
And it is not an unheard thing
If the Wolf is thereby provided with his dinner.
—Charles Perrault, ‘Le Petit Chaperon Rouge’
On the book’s spine, Choix de Contes de Fées is credited to “Perrault etc.” Two hundred years before the Grimms, there was no such genre as children’s literature. Nonetheless, innovative French writer and lawyer Charles Perrault (1628–1703) made the morally instructive nature of his tales clear, concluding each with a rhyming moralité that was sometimes directly aimed at children. Often omitted or altered by editors or translators, these morals are adjustable to different contexts.
D’Aulnoy, Leprince de Beaumont, Moreau and Perrault, Choix de Contes de Fées (Paris: Nelson, 1936). Locked Stack 096 80