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Red Riding Hood is a classic folk tale that has been rewritten and used for inspiration for new stories countless times. Below you can read a few facts about the history of the Red Riding character.

  1. Red riding hood is a traditional French folk tale that can be traced back around 1000 years and some scholars believe it’s origins can be traced as far back as the 11th century.

  2. Traditional folk tales weren’t intended to be just for children, they were for everyone and were spoken rather than read. Once they started to be written down in books, a separation was drawn between literature for adults and for children.

  3. The Red Riding Hood story has been written several times by different authors, each with a slightly different storyline. The two best known versions are by Charles Perrault (17th Century) and the Brothers Grimm (19th Century).

  4. In many versions the story is about a young girl, wearing a red hooded cape or cap, encounters a sly wolf. The wolf wants to eat the girl and the basket of food she is carrying. In some versions the wolf eats the grandmother then dresses in her clothes waiting for Little Red Riding Hood. He then eats the little girl too. 

  5. In Charles Perrault’s version the story ends when the wolf eats Little Red Riding Hood. In the Brothers Grimm version the story continues and a hunter comes to the rescue, cuts open the wolf and saves the grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood.

  6. In more recent versions the wolf locks Little Red Riding Hood and the grandmother in a cupboard rather than eating them. A woodcutter saves them by chasing the wolf away.

  7. Perrault was the first to use the red hood or cloak in the story and it has been used in many versions of the story since. It signifies maturity or coming of age. Other versions have seen the girl wear a red velvet cap (the Brothers Grimm version) or a red coat with hood. 

  8. Other stories around the world are very similar. Around the same time as Perrault’s version, Chinese poet Huang Zhing wrote a story about the Tiger Grandmother and in the Middle East a story about the wolf and the kids is believed to date back to the 1st century. 

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