The Brothers Grimm (Gebrüder Grimm), Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, are well known for the collection of over two hundred German folk tales they made from oral sources and published in two volumes of Kinder- und Hausmärchen (“Children’s and Household Tales”) in 1812 and 1814.
English translations of the 7th edition (1857) remain popular, largely as material for children, though the folk tales the Grimms collected had not previously been considered children’s stories.
Witches, goblins, trolls and wolves prowl the dark forests of the Grimms’ ancient villages and, deeper in the psyche of the insular German city-states of the time. Modern psychologists and cultural anthropologists often read in quite a bit of emotional angst, fear of abandonment, parental abuse, and sexual development in the stories that are often read as bed-time stories in the West.
Although their intention was to preserve such material as part of German cultural and literary history, and their collection was first published with scholarly notes and no illustration, the tales soon came into the possession of young readers. This was in part due to Edgar Taylor, who made the first English translation in 1823, selecting about fifty stories ‘with the amusement of some young friends principally in view.’ And Grimm’s Fairy Tales have been an essential ingredient of children’s reading ever since.
The Brothers Grimm are buried in the St Matthäus Kirchhof Cemetary in Berlin – Schöneberg.
Some of the most popular Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Hansel and Gretel
Little Red Riding Hood
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and Rose Red
Some less well known Grimm’s Fairy Tales
The Singing Bone
Oh if I Could But Shiver!
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