Monday, January 4, 2016

Today In History - A Grimm Day Indeed

On this day, January 4th, in the year 1785, Jacob, the older of two brothers both later to become famous, was born in Hanau, Germany. He was followed in the next year by his brother Wilhelm. The two would go on to both delight and frighten children (and adults) around the world not only in their own lifetimes but for decades and even centuries to come. They did so with a collection of tales they wrote and published, in three volumes, called Children's And Household Tales; in all there were 170 tales in the first edition of the work and 211 in the seventh edition. The name of their collected works was later changed to the much more familiar Grimm's Fairy Tales.

While you may think Walt Disney was the creator of such tales as: Hansel And Gretel (Disney had a musical version of the tale and a once aired TV movie), Sleeping Beauty and Snow White - it was the brothers Grimm who first recorded the stories in written form but even they were not the creators of these tales. They had helped establish a collection of oral folklore and later were encouraged to incorporate the oral tales they had collected into written volumes. It is important to note that they tried to replicate the oral stories as best they could in writing.

I had some of their tales read to me when I was a child and I later read many to my own children and not just the more popular of their stories either. I also read others of them for my own amusement. While I have read many of the tales, I certainly have not read all of them, not by a longshot; that might be something I should add to my list of things to accomplish in my lifetime - reading the complete collection.

All the best,
Glenn B

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