Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Brothers Grimm Biography

Jacob (1785-1863) the introvert & Wilhelm (1786-1859) the extrovert,
Drawn by their youngest brother, Ludwig

v     They were German professors and researchers. They collected and published many famous fables, folk and fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, The Pied Piper, and The Frog Prince. All in all, they popularized over 200 tales.

v     They grew up in Hanau, Germany. Their father died of pneumonia when they were around ten, leaving the family destitute (without money). They had to sell their house and lay off their servents.

v     The two brothers attended Friedrichsgymnasium, Kassel, where both headed their classes in grades.

v     Then, they went to the University of Marburg where they started collecting folk tales. All the while they had to work to earn a living. They received no financial aid from their school. In a letter, Wilhelm wrote, “We five people eat only three portions and only once a day.”

v     1808, Jacob was appointed court librarian to the King of Westphalia, and went on to become librarian in Kassel. Wilhelm soon joined him. It paid little, but gave them time to write books which made them famous.

v     In 1825 Wilhelm married. Jacob never did.

v     In 1830 both moved to the University of Göttingen to be professors. They lost their jobs in 1837 for protesting against the king, who had dissolved parliament. They then returned to Kassel, beginning their life’s work, to write a German dictionary.

v     In 1840 they got jobs as professors at the University of Berlin, where they worked till their deaths.

v     In Germany their books are the second most popular, after the Bible.

v     Disney can credit its initial success to making animated films based on Grimms’ fairytales.

v     Some of the Bro.’s Grimm’s tales are criticized for containing violence and murder. The problem is that some of these folktales weren’t originally meant for children, but many were, and all these stories were put together and sold as children stories.

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