The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XI. The Period of the French Revolution.

XVI. Children’s Books

§ 9. Fairy Tales

This is not the place to go into the anthropology of fairy tales in general, or of these fairy tales in particular. It is quite probable that Perrault’s son did actually tell the tales himself to his father, much as he heard them from his nurse. Their delightful simplicity made them instantly popular. An English translation appeared, apparently, in 1729, by Robert Samber. The stories passed speedily into chapbooks, as did those of Madame d’Aulnoy about the same time. It should be added that they were provided with “morals”: Red Riding Hood proved that

  • Wolves for sure there are
  • Of every sort, and every character;
  • while Bluebeard exemplified “curiosity, thou mortal bane.”