A little over 200 years ago (December, 1812) brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm first published their collection of folk and fairy tales titled Children’s and Household Tales. The Grimms continued to update their compilation over the next fifty years and amazingly the stories are as popular in the 21st century as they were in the 19th. Think of the television shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time and the recent movie adaptations of Snow White. According to National Geographic the fairytales have been translated into over 160 languages!
Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, retells fifty of the Grimms’ stories in Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version. Filled with images of evil stepmothers, helpful elves, and brave tailors the stories transport us into a world where goodness is rewarded and wickedness is punished. Equally interesting are Pullman’s comments after each story. He notes that the narratives are extremely straightforward rarely deviating into character development or description. Yet the format must work because the stories the brothers collected continue to captivate us today.
The Google Doodle noting the 200th anniversary of Children’s and Household Tales:
For more reading try:
Fairy Tales: A New History by Ruth Bottigheimer