Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Die Gebrüder Grimm

As I mentioned in my inaugural post, I had a much-beloved abridged version of Grimms’ Fairy Tales as a child.

I was surprised to learn that Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were born in the mid-1780s and that their famous collection of fairy tales, Kinder und Hausmärchen, debuted in 1812.  I had supposed that the tales had been collected far earlier, such as during the Middle Ages.

The original Grimms’ stories are known for their brutality and violence, especially compared to modern children’s books.  Many of the original plot twists and story endings have been sanitized by Hollywood over the years.

Translators Edgar Taylor and Marian Edwardes provided an English version of the tales published in 1912 under the title “Grimm’s Household Tales.”  I highly recommend the Project Gutenberg version, which is based on the Taylor & Edwardes translation.

Here is a fun fact:  Cinderella is known as “Aschenputtel” in the original German tale (translated as “Ashputtel” in the 1912 version).

Here is an illustration from that edition by R. Anning Bell:

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