She was born in Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...
and died in 1780. She lost her mother when she was only eleven but wrote that she did not mourn her passing. The family was very poor and several of her siblings had to be sent away for adoption. She wrote that her mother had suffered terribly at not being able to maintain contact with her children or to establish what had become of them. She therefore felt intuitively that her mother's death was a blessing.
From 1725 - 1735 she taught small children in Ernemont, about ten miles from Rouen. Subsequently, she obtained a prestigious position as a singing teacher to the children at the Court of the Duke of Lorraine, Stanisław Leszczyński, at Lunéville
Lunéville is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department and lies on the Meurthe River.-History:...
Her first marriage, in 1743, was disastrous and was annulled after two years. The Duke of Lorraine had personally paid her dowry, a huge sum, so that she could marry well, but her husband used the dowry to pay off his debts, then used the rest to buy a hotel. There he held wild parties and entertained disreputable characters. After her husband contracted a communicable disease as a result of his lifestyle, she was able to obtain an annulment but she retained her husband's name.
In 1746 she left France to become a governess in London. She was the author of Beauty and the Beast and Other Classic French Fairy Tales.
After a successful publishing career in England, she remarried, bore many children, and left England to live the rest of her life in Savoy.
Her first work, the moralistic novel The Triumph of Truth
(Le Triomphe de la vérité
) was published in 1748. She continued her literary career by publishing many school books. She then began to publish collections she called "magazines" of educational and moral stories and poems for children. She was one of the first to write fairy tales for children. J., The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm.
She also wrote other based on traditional fairy tale themes.
Another well-known storyteller of the era, Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, French author , influenced by Madame d'Aulnoy, Charles Perrault, and various précieuse writers....
, wrote a story titled Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast is a traditional fairy tale. The first published version of the fairy tale was a rendition by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, published in La jeune américaine, et les contes marins in 1740...
. Le Prince de Beaumont revised and abridged this story considerably, in the form in which it is most commonly known, and always included the revised version in the many "magazines" she published over the next 30 years. The success of this shorter revised version is the reason Le Prince de Beaumont is commonly deemed the author of the classic story.