Born in Paris in 1628. Died 1703. Perrault, having left his first career as a lawyer in 1654, began to gain a reputation as a poet. His position was secured after writing a series of poems in honour of Louis XIV in 1660 and he gained the patronage of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the controller-general of finances, in 1663. From then on, was able to work in the arts and sciences as he pleased.

He began writing verse tales, such as The Foolish Wishes in 1693, and Donkey Skin in 1694, as a result of coming down heavily on the side of modernism in the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns (1687).

His long-lasting fame, however, rests on his Histoires ou contes du temps passe (1697) in which he wrote stories that were to become the core of the classic canon of literary fairy tales: Blue Beard, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Tom Thumb.