The True Story of the Real Brothers Grimm
Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm was born in January 4, 1785, in Hanau,
Germany. Just over a year later, in February 24, 1786, his
little brother Wilhelm Carl Grimm was born. Their father was
a lawyer, and they had six more brothers and one sister.
In 1802, Jacob went to university to study law at the University
of Marburg. As always, his little brother followed him, and
entered law school in 1803. During their university years
they began to collect folk and fairy tales. Folklore is stories
that have been passed down from parents to children, by word
of mouth, but at that time many had not been published in
books. The Grimms were especially interested in stories that
included Germany and German culture.
Jacob and Wilhelm published their first book of fairy tales
Childrens and Household Tales - in
1812. There were 86 folktales. Readers were so happy to see
the stories they had been told as children all collected together
that the book was a success. In the next volume of Grimms
Fairy Tales, the brothers added 70 more stories. It
went on growing like this for six more editions. Finally,
the book contained over 200 stories! It is probably the best-known
work of German literature. Even if you dont know the
Brothers Grimm, you definitely know a Grimm fairy tale.
If only all brothers were as close as the Brothers Grimm.
They were always together even when Wilhelm married
his wife Henriette, Jacob continued to live with them! The
Brothers Grimm were both professors and scholars. In fact,
Jacob Grimm is considered to be the father of the study of
German history. They both taught as professors in Germanys
capitol, at the University of Berlin. They became known throughout
Europe as experts on anything to do with folktales, language,
and anything German. They were so into books that they both
became librarians as well! During their lifetimes they published
many more very important books, including German Mythology,
Old German Tales, The History of the German
Language, and even the German Dictionary.
Grimm fairy tales include stories of kings, magic, and talking
animals. Even though the stories are sometimes scary, fairy
tales allow us to work through our fears. They often teach
us a lesson about moral values, and right and wrong.