Jacob Grimm was born in 1785, followed by his brother Wilhelm in 1786. Their father, Phillipp, a judge, was ambitious and prosperous, while their mother, Dorothea, was a devoted and caring housewife, and they also had three more brothers and a sister. They lived in the town of Steinau in central Germany, in a large comfortable home. All the children went to school, and Jacob and Wilhelm were particularly bright and hard-working. Philipp Grimm died suddenly in 1796 and Dorothea and her children had to live on a much smaller income, though arrangements were made for Jacob and Wilhelm to continue their studies at a prestigious high school.
Although the brothers were very different – Jacob was serious and strong, while Wilhelm was outgoing, cheerful and asthmatic – they were inseparable and totally devoted to one another.They were both determined to prove themselves to be the best students at their school, studying for more than twelve hours a day. At university, the brothers discovered the study of ancient German literature and folk tales and began to collect these fairy stories, which were eventually published in two large volumes in 1812 and 1815. The brothers worked in business and law before both becoming librarians in the King’s library, and together they wrote many books about German literature, language and folklore, as well as beginning work on the first German dictionary.
Wilhelm died in 1859, and Jacob became more solitary than ever, though he continued to work on the brothers’ shared projects until his own death in 1863.
‘Once upon a time…’
Once upon a time there was a book, and inside the book were princes who had been turned into frogs or ferocious beasts, princesses so beautiful they astonished the sun, faithful sweethearts and evil stepmothers, giants taller than mountains and a boy no bigger than your thumb, houses made of bread and cake and birds made of gold - in fact, all manner of mysterious, monstrous and magical things. The book is in your hands. Read it happily ever after.
Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can learn to make your own gingerbread!
Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
|Grimms' Fairy Tales
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