The Google Doodles are great little “reading for Information” and today’s tribute to Charles Perrault is no exception. According to the Doodle site, many of the “narratives we’ve known since childhood” we owe to Perrault:
the 17th-century French author and academician. Perrault was born in Paris 388 years ago today, and spent most of his life in the court of Louis XIV. He began writing his famous stories only in his late sixties, after having retired.
In re-reading his version of Cinderella, it was obvious he was not one to “trust the reader”. As evidence, he placed a “moral” at the end of the Cinderella story:
Moral: Beauty in a woman is a rare treasure that will always be admired. Graciousness, however, is priceless and of even greater value. This is what Cinderella’s godmother gave to her when she taught her to behave like a queen. Young women, in the winning of a heart, graciousness is more important than a beautiful hairdo. It is a true gift of the fairies. Without it nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything.
Didn’t get it? Well, he provided another moral just in case!
Another moral: Without doubt it is a great advantage to have intelligence, courage, good breeding, and common sense. These, and similar talents come only from heaven, and it is good to have them. However, even these may fail to bring you success, without the blessing of a godfather or a godmother
In other words, whatever you do, you better get a godmother!