Grimms Illustrated Fairy Tales

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Pook Press Brothers Grimm - Illustrated Fairy Tales | Pook Press

The Grimms were keen German nationalists who wanted to see the multitude of German states united as one country and who believed that folk tales revealed a national German identity. After university at Marburg, Jacob and Wilhelm spent several years working as librarians in Kassel. Influenced and encouraged by their friends Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim, who published a collection of folk songs in , they began collecting folk tales from peasant story-tellers and from middle-class friends and families and their servants, as well as from European literary traditions.

William married Dortchen in , but Jacob never married and lived with his brother and his sister-in-law. Besides the folk tales, between and the Grimms published two volumes of German legends and from Jacob published a huge work on the grammar of Germanic languages.

Telling Tales

In they were invited by Frederick William IV of Prussia to move to university posts in Berlin, where they remained until their deaths, working on a giant dictionary of the German language. William died at 73 in , followed by Jacob at 81 in Skip to main content. Google Tag Manager. A landmark in folklore was published on December 20th, Germany Literature.

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After four years of rigorous schooling, Jacob graduated head of his class in Wilhelm contracted asthma and scarlet fever, which delayed his graduation by one year although he was also head of his class. Both were given special dispensations for studying law at the University of Marburg. They particularly needed this dispensation because their social standing at the time was not high enough to have normal admittance. University of Marburg was a small, person university where most students were more interested in activities than schooling. Most of the students received stipends even though they were the richest in the state.

The Grimms did not receive any stipends because of their social standing; however, they were not upset by it since it kept the distractions away. Jacob attended the university first and showed proof of his hard work ethic and quick intelligence. Wilhelm joined Jacob at the university, and Jacob drew the attention of Professor Friedrich Carl von Savigny , founder of its historical school of law.

He became a huge personal and professional influence on the brothers.

The Publication of Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Throughout their time at university, the brothers became quite close with Savigny and were able to use his personal library as they became very interested in German law, history, and folklore. Savigny asked Jacob to join him in Paris as an assistant, and Jacob went with him for a year. While he was gone, Wilhelm became very interested in German literature and started collecting books.


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Once Jacob returned to Kassel in , he adopted his brother's passion and changed his focus from law to German literature. While Jacob studied literature and took care of their siblings, Wilhelm continued on to receive his degree in law at Marburg. In , their mother died, and it was hard on Jacob because he took the position in the family as a father figure, while also trying to be a brother.

From to , the Grimm family had barely enough money to properly feed and clothe themselves. During this time, Jacob and Wilhelm were concerned about the stability of the family. Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano were good friends of the brothers and wanted to publish folk tales, so they asked the brothers to collect oral tales for publication. The Grimms collected many old books and asked friends and acquaintances in Kassel to tell tales and to gather stories from others. Jacob and Wilhelm sought to collect these stories in order to write a history of old German Poesie and to preserve history.


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The first volume of the first edition was published in , containing 86 stories; the second volume of 70 stories followed in For the second edition, two volumes were issued in and a third in , totaling tales. The third edition appeared in ; fourth edition, ; fifth edition, ; sixth edition, ; seventh edition, Stories were added, and also subtracted, from one edition to the next, until the seventh held tales.

All editions were extensively illustrated, first by Philipp Grot Johann and, after his death in , by German illustrator Robert Leinweber. The first volumes were much criticized because, although they were called "Children's Tales", they were not regarded as suitable for children, both for the scholarly information included and the subject matter.

A Selection of Grimms’ Fairy Tales

They removed sexual references—such as Rapunzel 's innocently asking why her dress was getting tight around her belly, and thus naively revealing to the witch Dame Gothel her pregnancy and the prince's visits—but, in many respects, violence, particularly when punishing villains, was increased. After the first book was published in , they began their second volume, German Legends , which was published in This was one year after their publication of the German Legends.

Enduring Magic

In , the Brothers published their Kleine Ausgabe or "small edition", a selection of 50 tales designed for child readers. This children's version went through ten editions between and However, the brothers and five other professors led a protest against this and were heavily supported by the student body since all of these professors were well renowned. In Kassel, the Grimms devoted themselves to researching and studying. A close friend of theirs, Bettina von Arnim, was also a talented writer.

Savigny and others convinced the King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, to allow the brothers to teach and conduct research at the University of Berlin. In March , the brothers did just this and also continued to work on the German Dictionary. The Grimms believed that the most natural and pure forms of culture were linguistic and based in history. Joseph Jacobs was in part inspired by his complaint that English children did not read English fairy tales; [9] in his own words, "What Perrault began, the Grimms completed". Hitler praised them as folkish tales showing children with sound racial instincts seeking racially pure marriage partners, and so strongly that the Allied forces warned against them; [11] for instance, Cinderella with the heroine as racially pure, the stepmother as an alien, and the prince with an unspoiled instinct being able to distinguish.

Tales That Live Forever: 200 Years of the Brothers Grimm

The Grimm anthology has been a source of inspiration for artists and composers. Arthur Rackham , Walter Crane and Rie Cramer are among the artists who have created illustrations based on the stories. Ashliman provides a hyper-linked list of 50 to English-language collections that have been digitized and are available online.



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