Friday, November 09, 2012

200 Years of the Brothers Grimm

On December 20, 1812, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published a book called Children's and Household Tales (Kinder und Hausmärchen in German) and helped popularize one of the most enduring aspects of Western popular culture – the fairy tale.

From a piece on AbeBooks...

The Brothers Grimm did not originate the stories. They were scholarly researchers and linguists who selected the stories from various dialects and regions, and then published them as a collection.
The Grimms collected folktales for many years before becoming a publishing phenomenon. That historic first volume of tales contained 86 stories and the second volume, published in 1814, had 70 stories. 

Many of those tales had been handed down in the oral tradition but some had already been published. Those early volumes pulled no punches. There was often something very nasty in the woods and villains were punished with brutal violence. The toning down process began soon after and continues to the present day with the likes of Disney and the hundreds of children’s book publishers who reprint the stories each year.

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