Grimm’s fairy tales bring children’s literature to life



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On this day, 209 years ago, the classic and influential collection of folklore transformed children’s stories, Grimm’s fairy tales, has been published.

December 20, 1812, marks the day that German folklorists and linguists Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their first volume of Kinder-und Hausmärchen (Tales for children and households), a collection containing some of the world’s most beloved literary works.

His most enduring works, including White as snow, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty and Hansel and Gretel, sparked a universal appeal for children’s stories and inspired a myriad of adaptations and modern fables.

Grimm’s fairy tales was first published in two volumes between 1812 and 1823, before being revised and expanded on several occasions until it included some 200 stories.

The tales were stories adopted from oral sources, including German folk music and literature, and collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, better known as the Brothers Grimm.

A memorial to brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in Kassel, Germany. Photo: Getty

Most of the stories presented are about children and their families and their reaction to the difficult conditions of German life.

The brothers believed that German culture, its stories and morals emanated from its oral tradition as they strove to preserve their cultural heritage.

The collection “aimed to convey the soul, imagination and beliefs of people through the centuries – or an authentic reproduction of the words and manners of the storyteller”, Ludwig Denecke, director of the Brothers Grimm Museum in Kassel, in Germany. wrote.

Rapunzel, Golden goose, Rumpelstiltskin, and Tom Thumb were also famous stories originally published by the Brothers Grimm.

Many of Grimm’s fairy tales have seen film, print, theatrical, and animated adaptations since their first publication in German – nothing more than White as snow.

Now a key pillar under the Disney umbrella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was Walt Disney’s first feature film and the most successful film in history at the time.

During this time, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel have also been redesigned for animated films and Disney adaptations.

Tangled (2010) was the last major Disney fairy tale film to use source material from the Brothers Grimm.

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