HENRIETTE JULIE DE CASTELNEAU, daughter of Michel, second Marquis de Castelnau, Governor of Brest, and granddaughter by the mother's side, to the Count d'Angnon, Marshal of France, was born at Brest in 1670. At the age of sixteen, she came to Paris in the costume worn by the peasants in Brittany, the language of which province she spoke very fluently. Her appearance in this dress caused such a sensation that the Queen desired her to wear it on her presentation at Court. She married Nicholas, Count de Murat, Colonel of Infantry and Brigadier des Armées du Roi, descended from a family established in Auvergne before 1300, and that afterwards passed into Dauphiné. Being suspected by Madame de Maintenon of having been part author of a libel in which all the persons composing the Court of Louis XIV., in 1694, were caricatured or insulted, she was banished to Auch, Department du Gers. After the death of Louis XIV., the Regent Duke of Orleans, at the request of Madame de Parabere, recalled Madame de Murat in 1715. She did not, however, long enjoy her return to Paris, as she died at her Château de la Buzardiere in Maine the following year (1716), at the early age of forty-six. She was the author of many works, both in prose and verse,  but is best known by her Contes des Fées, six of the most popular of which are here translated. Four of these (Le Parfait Amour, Anguillette, Jeune et Belle, and Le Palais de la Vengeance) were printed in 1766, and again in 1817, in the collection of Fairy Tales attributed to the Countess d'Aulnoy, of whom Madame de Murat was the contemporary, but certainly not the rival. Her stories have more the character of romances and novels than fairy tales, with a strong infusion of sentiment, such as is to be found in the writings of Madame de Scuderi, Madlle. de La Fayette, the Countess d'Auneuil, and others of that period.
The plots of them were most probably taken from
"Les contes ingenus quoique remplis d'addresse Qu'ont inventés les Troubadours."
For to this she is specially invited in the verses at the end of the prose story of L'Adroite Princesse, which is dedicated to her, and attributed to Perrault. It has been shown, however, that if that version of L'Adroite Princesse were really written by him, it was not published till 1742, thirty-nine years after the death of the reputed author, and twenty-six after the death of the lady to whom it is dedicated.