Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Brothers Grimm Folktales - 200th Anniversary

The Brothers Grimm are probably the best known storytellers in the world. 

Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm were born in 1785 and 1786 in Hanau, Germany and were part of a large family of eight boys and one girl. Their father Philipp was a lawyer and both Jacob and Wilhelm had intended to study Law and become lawyers, however their real interests lay elsewhere and they instead spent much of their lives collecting German folk tales.   In 1812 they published their first volume of 86 stories and tales Children's and Household Tales (Kinder-und Hausmarchen). The table of contents included such famous stories as: Cinderella; Snow White; Rapunzel; Hansel and Gretel; Little Red Riding Hood and Rumplstiltskin. But if you're looking for a sweet soothing tale "Once upon a time......and they lived happily ever after" you might be best to look somewhere other than the original folk tales of the Brothers Grimm. The stories collected by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800's serve up life as many generations of Europeans knew it - fickle and often cruel. The early editions were not aimed at children at all and the brothers initially refused to have illustrations. Once they discovered this young audience they set about refining and softening their tales. Since the deaths of the Brothers in about 1860 the tales have undergone many adaptions and translations into more than 160 languages. The release of the film adaption of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 was the first of three wildly popular Disney story adaptions. Since then many other adaptions have made it to the big screen.

Currently we have many books containing one or more Grimm's folktale/fairytale in the Non-fiction section of our library as well as some picture book versions of individual tales.

Upper Hutt Library holds numerous books containing one or more Grimm's folktale/fairytale.

The above information about the Grimm Brothers and their folktales was adapted from these web pages: here, here and here, here and here.

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