Was Mother Goose a Real Person?

What do you think of when you hear the name “Mother Goose?” Perhaps you imagine a kindly old woman telling stories to children, maybe a goose with human characteristics, or just simply a book of nursery rhymes. No matter what comes to mind, it’s likely that you’re familiar with the name. So, was Mother Goose a real person? For anyone hoping that Mother Goose did actually exist at one point in time, there’s bad news. Unlike Granny Smith, Mother Goose is not and never has been a real person. The fictional character of Mother Goose originated in the volume of French literary fairy tales Stories or Tales from Times Past, with Morals by 17th century author Charles Perrault. The book contains Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Blue Beard, Puss in Boots, and The Fairies. The first English translation came in 1729 and was presented as Mother Goose’s Tales. Added to the original stories were nursery rhymes, including Little Tom Tucker, The Cat and the Fiddle, Jack and Jill, and Patty Cake. These days, it’s generally accepted that the personage of Mother Goose has no real historical basis — that is, that she's simply a fictional character or folkloric figure. Even so, she remains a figure of enormous power, occupying the minds of children and adults alike.