Perrault, Charles (1628-1703), French writer, was the son of a lawyer, which profession he himself followed, being called to the bar in 1651. His great ability soon procured him an important official post, which enabled him to carry out his literary projects. In 1671 he was admitted a member of the Academy, and was instrumental in effecting several reforms in that institution. His earliest writings were slight poems and burlesques, but between 1688 and 1698 his Parallel of the Ancients and Moderns appeared in four volumes, and aroused great discussion. Perrault endeavoured to show that the ancients were inferior to the moderns in everything - arts, letters, science, philosophy, and even cookery. He found many adherents, and the work was the commencement of a lengthy battle between partisans of the ancients and moderns; but this and all his other writings sink into insignificance beside his delightful Fairy Tales, which appeared in 1697 under his son's name, and proved a revelation to Europe. They have never lost their charm, and Perrault ranks high among those who have given delight to childhood by their works.