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Grimms' Fairy Tales

Grimms' Fairy Tales


by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Analysis: Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Jacob and Wilhelm were so close that they continued to live in the same household even after Wilhelm got married (to Dortchen Wild, who was one of the storytellers who told them the tales that ended up in this book). We're betting that may have been a bit of a strain on the marriage. (Source.)

The tales were first published in 1812, but went through seven major editions until, in 1857, the tales appeared in the version we now know, with 210 tales in total. However, the Zipes translation we've used for this learning guide includes sixty-nine other tales, such as ones from the annotations of 1856, from the Grimm brothers' posthumous papers, and cheery stuff like that. Some of those tales are recognizable from French sources, such as a version of Puss in Boots and a version of Bluebeard. (Source.)

When the Nazis were in power in Germany, they twisted the Grimms' tales for use as propaganda, which included justifying the invasion of Poland as a part of the plot of "Snow White" and making heroes into Hitler figures. Gross, right? (Source.)

Remember how in our "In a Nutshell" section, we said the Grimms were linguists? Yeah, there's a law named after them. Grimm's Law, to be precise. It's about how consonants in proto-Indo-European languages change over time. Or something like that. (Source.)

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