About the Authors

The German brothers made some of the most popular fairy tales of all time.

Wilhelm Grimm and his older brother Jacob studied German folklore and oral traditions, publishing a collection of stories eventually known as Grimms’ Fairy Tales which includes narratives like Briar Rose and Little Red Riding Hood. Several of the brothers’ tales have been adapted into successful TV shows and movies. Although the duo is famous for sharing the classic tales bearing their name, here are five facts that you might not have known about them:

The Brothers Grimm didn’t write the fairy tales

Although Jacob and Wilhelm are often associated with Snow White and Rapunzel, the brothers didn’t write any of those stories. The stories existed long before the two men were born in Germany in the mid-1780s. The fairy tales were part of a rich oral tradition − passed down from generation to generation, often by women seeking to pass the time during household chores. But as industrialization took root, local traditions changed and scholars, like Jacob and Wilhelm, began a quest to save the stories from extinction. They interviewed relatives and friends, collecting whatever tales they could, sometimes embellishing them (although they insisted they did not). In 1812, Jacob and Wilhelm published the stories as part of a collection titled Nursery and Household Tales, or what is now referred to as Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

The stories were not intended for kids

Originally, Grimm’s Fairy Tales were not meant for children. The stories routinely included sex, violence, incest and copious footnotes. Worse yet, they didn’t even have illustrations. Initially aimed at adults, the early editions of Nursery and Household Tales contained remarkably dark elements. In its original version, for example, Rapunzel gets pregnant by the prince after a casual fling. In Cinderella, the stepsisters cut off their toes and heels to try to fit into the slipper. These sorts of scenes (and many others) were eventually revised once the stories became popular among children.

Jacob and Wilhelm faced deportation and bankruptcy


In 1830, King Ernest Augustus demanded oaths of allegiance from all professors in Gottingen, a university city where Jacob and Wilhelm taught Germanic studies.

The brothers refused to pledge to the king. Alongside with five other professors, the “Gottingen Seven” were made to leave the city.

Jobless and branded as political dissidents, the brothers were forced to borrow money from friends as they worked on their story collection.

“Grimm’s Fairy Tales” was a publishing blockbuster
The Grimm’s collection of fairy tales was in its 7th edition when Wilhelm died in 1859. By that point, the collection had grown to 211 stories and included intricate illustrations. Jacob − who had lived with Wilhelm and his wife − died in 1863.

According to biographers, Jacob was deeply distraught after the death of his brother, with whom he had held a close bond throughout his life. Some claim their collection has only been outsold by Shakespeare and the Bible.

The Grimms worked on more than fairy tales

University-trained philologists (the study of language in historical texts) and librarians, Jacob and Wilhelm published more than fairy tales. They wrote books about mythology and published scholarly works on linguistics and medieval studies.

They also worked on compiling an ambitious German dictionary, although both brothers died before they were able to finish the entry for the letter.

My Thoughts

We have all heard about the dark story-telling styles of the Grimm Brothers. Their book contains many stories all suitable for kids and teens. As many things about these stories has been changed over the centuries since the stories start taking their fame. The parent can gift this book without thinking twice about the nature of the Grimm Brothers writing style.

This book has many stories that would teach good things to the kids, it does have a certain amount of sadness in the story but then at the end, everything turns out to be good.

Every story is unique and different from each other, kids would enjoy a good bedtime story and they would have a lot to talk about.

The Surprise

You would be surprised that the stories like Rapunzel, Snow-white, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood and Rumpelstiltskin existed even before their time. These stories are a part of England’s folk tales and are shared as bedtime stories to the kids.

These stories have been passed on to generations and are continues in many parts of England.

I always thought that Disney was the maker of these stories and characters and all these superficial characters may have existed and been real.

My Review

“Good bedtime story for kids.”

About the Book

Let the Brothers Grimm take you on an amazing adventure
From the land of the fantastical castle, vast lakes and deep forests, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected a treasury of fairy stories, full of giants and dwarfs, witches and princesses, magical beasts and cunning children. From classics such as ‘The Frog Prince’ and ‘Hansel and Gretel to the delights of ‘Ashputtel’ or ‘Old Sultan’, all hold timeless magic that has enthralled children for centuries.

Recommend Reading:

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Castle Diary – Journal of a Young Page – by Richard Platt and Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Nurse Matilda Goes to Town – Christianna Brand
The Arabian Nights/One Thousands and One Nights Arabian Tales
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg
Roman Diary Journal of a Young Slave – Richard Platt and Illustrated by David Parkin
Nancy Drew – The Clue of the Leaning Chimney- Carolyn Keene

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