Grandpa Pencil
finds some of
Grimm's Fairy Tales

 


Jakob Ludwig Grimm (January 4, 1785) and Wilhelm Karl Grimm (February 24, 1786),were born in in Hanau near Frankfurt in Hessen.
They were among a family of nine children, only six of whom survived infancy.
Their early childhood was spent in the countryside in what has been described as an "idyllic" state.
When the eldest brother Jakob was eleven years old, however, their father, Philipp Wilhelm, died, and the family moved into a cramped urban home.
Two years later, the children's grandfather also died, leaving them and their mother to struggle.
Some modern psychologists have argued that this harsh family background influenced the way the Brothers Grimm would interpret and present their tales.
They tended to idealize and excuse fathers, leaving a predominance of female villains in the tales.
For example, the evil stepmother and stepsisters in “Cinderella”, the nefarious crone in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, and the kindly father in “The Frog King”.
This opinion, however, ignores the fact that the brothers were collectors of folk tales, not their authors.
The two brothers were educated at the Friedrichs-Gymnasium in Kassel and later both read law at the University of Marburg.
They were in their early twenties when they began the linguistic and philological studies that would culminate in both Grimm's Law and their collected editions of fairy and folk tales.
Though their collections of tales became immensely popular, they were essentially a by-product of the linguistic research which was the Brothers' primary goal.
Jakob remained a bachelor until his death, but Wilhelm married Dorothea Wild, a pharmacist's daughter from whom the brothers heard the story Little Red Riding Hood, in 1825.
They had four children, three survived infancy. In 1830, they formed a household in Göttingen with Jakob, where both brothers became professors.

     

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