Born in Paris in 1628, Charles
Perrault was trained as a lawyer but spent most of his working life
as a bureaucrat in the Department of Public Works. The death of his
patron in 1683 put an end to that career, and at the age of 55, Perrault
tried his hand at literature, composing stories in verse. But he was
not a very good poet, and his reputation depends on his success with
such prose tales as Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Blue Beard,
Puss-in-Boots, The Fairies, and Cinderella, all of which appeared in
about 1697 in Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals, along
with the subtitle "Tales of My Mother Goose."
These were first translated into English a third of
a century later, in 1729, the year that John Newbery, the eventual publisher
of Mother Goose's Melodies in 1760, started his career as a printer,
publisher and author in Reading, England.