Google honored French fairy tale writer Charles Perrault with a doodle on its homepage to celebrate the author's 338th birthday Jan. 12. Known for such classics as "Little Red Riding Hood," "Cinderella" or "Blue Beard," the 17th century writer penned the first versions of some of the most popular fairy tales in the world. While his name may not be as well-known as the Grimm Brothers or Hans Christian Andersen, Perrault was a defining figure in the literary landscape of Europe and the world. Here are eight facts and quotes to know about the acclaimed writer.
8. Perrault was a lawyer before becoming a writer.
7. Cultures across the world have published versions of Perrault's tales in many languages, Perrault was French and his original tome of fairy tales was released in his maternal language. The top titles have become "Cendrillon" (Cinderella), "Le Chaperon Rouge" (Little Red Riding Hood) and "La Belle au Bois Dormant" (Sleeping Beauty).
6. Many of his fairy tales were inspired by real life chateaus and their architectural charms. The Chateau d'Ussé, a sprawling castle in the Loire valley in central France reportedly inspired Perault to pen "Sleeping Beauty." The castle also inspired Walt Disney in the creation of his iconic logo.
5. Perrault often mused on philosophical questions both in his writing and his life. “For you know that I myself am a labyrinth, where one easily gets lost,” he once said famously.
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4. Unsure of how his first collection of stories would be released, Perrault published them under his son's name, Pierre Darmancourt.
3. "The love that comes most slowly, longest stays," he wrote in “Sleeping Beauty.”
2. His stories, as with many folk tales, were often inspired by older poems and stories, with some dating as far back as the 14th century.
1. Perrault's stories were intended as more than mere entertainment -- they were meant to be moral lessons. Scholars have interpreted "Little Red Riding Hood" as a cautionary tale for young girls to remain chaste. "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," Perrault wrote in his story, as quoted by the Telegraph.