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The Brothers Grimm

The Brothers Grimm seem to become more famous as time goes on, but not always for the right reasons!

Quite how a couple of philologists became cross-bow wielding, leather clad, fighters, or a rather strange policeman in the Americas, is anyone's guess. But here on Deep in the Dark Forest, we are only interested in the originals.

When I was young, I had this idea that Jacob and Wilhelm were American writers for Disney in the same way as were Rodgers and Hammerstein (The Sound of Music), but apparently not!

Instead, they lived around the same time as Charles Dickens and were also lovers of wondrous tales. Their famous collection of "Children's and Household Tales" (Kinder- und Hausmärchen), better known as Grimms' Fairy Tales contained 210 tales by the time of its final edition.

Many of their tales were collected by inviting storytellers to their home and transcribing what was told to them. Some of their tales came from common folk, but aristocrats alos had a look in. Tales like Hansel and Gretel were told to them by Wilhelm's wife.

The stories were not simple transcriptions. Over time they edited the stories to make them more consistent. Wilhelm added more dialogue, made them more Christian in places, and removed sexual references. They added morals to soem of the tales in later editions and they even mode the characters more "German" in places.

In the end, I suppose, these are the Grimms' versions rather than the originals, but are wonderful none the less.

As I record some of these, however, if I can find any of the earlier versions (pre cleaning them up), I might add back missing plot elements. Apparently Rapunzel and the Prince had a fling and in the original story there are hints she is pregnant!

Although they changed the stories to make them more acceptable generally, and make them better for children, this was a long time ago, and the attitudes to women in particular were not as they should have been. So, I will do what the Grimm's did and adapt the stories once again, adding some of my own humour and treat some of the characters a little better.

13: The Boy Who Looked for Fear

7: Little Red Cap

6: Hansel and Gretel

3: Cinderella

1: The Golden Bird