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Short biography
Charlotte-Rose Caumont de La Force, known as Mademoiselle de La Force, was born to an aristocratic French Protestant family, and converted to the Roman Catholic faith, which gave her many important connections at court. She wrote popular short stories and novels and was part of the 17th-century France fad for fairy tales. Her best-known work is her 1698 fairy tale "Persinette," which was adapted by the Brothers Grimm as "Rapunzel." At the court of King Louis XIV, she served as a lady-in-waiting to the Dauphine. She was exiled to a nunnery for a time in 1697 for "impious" writings. There she wrote several historical novels, the volume of fairy tales containing "Persinette," and her memoirs, Pensées chrétiennes de défunte de Mlle de La Force. [See Carolyn Vellenga's "Rapunzel's Desire: A Reading of Mlle de La Force," Merveilles et Contes, 6.1 (May 1992).] She's a featured character in the Australian fantasy/historical novel Bitter Greens (2012).
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