Jacob Grimm (January 4, 1785) and Wilhelm Grimm (February 24, 1786) wrote and edited 35 books and volumes, one of which was Christmas and Household Fairytales-- or more commonly known as the Grimm Fairy Tales. This collection of legends from across the globe and throughout time "was published in 1819. The Grimm's were originally trained to be advocates" but an adoration from their childhood led them to seeking out the age-old stories. They soon became scholars in folklore, in Jacob's case, philology. These two legends themselves "quickly bcame the first known to bring any scientific methoid to an oral tradition...." [www.todayinliterature.com]
"Their father died unexpectedly in their childhood and that left their even more poor than they already were. Their tome and tradition and collection was drawn from a fascination of Faerie tales at a young age, and found, mostly, from 'oral narratives'. Each fairy tale is either that, a fairy tale, or animal fables, rustic farce, or religious accounts." [Thomas O'Neill-- National Geographic Society] This collection has been translated into more than 160 languages from Inupiat in the Arctic, to Swahili in Africa, "since it's first publishing, the Grimm Tales have been enteraining families, children, and adults for generations and hopefully will for generations to come." Their legacy of legends are how people are remembered.
Into the Tales---> According to Brittannica Encycloped the title"s translation into German is Kinder-und Hausmadche, it was followed by a tome of historical and local legened and after it was finished, it was followed by a tome of local and historical legends of Germany. Schiller said this, and when pertaining to imagination and the Grimm's stories, I wholeheartedly agree: "deeper meaning lies in the fairy tales of my childhood than in the truths that are taught by life."
The first edition was gradually released from Jacob into Wilhelm's hands to finish, and all the works that came after were mostly by Wilhelm. 1819, Wilhelm releaed a new and enlarged version of this collection with a newly addied introduction called On the Nature of Folk Tales.
1822, the third version surfaced, this one mostly the stories, commentary, and history of historical studies. By 1825 the brothers had published 50 stories. After 1837, translations varied, with Danish, Swedish, and French among the most immediate; then Dutch, English, Italian, Spanish, Czeck, Polish, Russian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Finnish, Esthonian, Hebrew, Armenian, and Esperanto. Also, some of the Brothers' works had been recorded before them in the history among the African, Mexican, and South Sea Natives.
Repunzel-- The German translation was "rampion". Granted this Tale could've just been a tall tale, to get little German children to behave while they were young, or stretched so far no one can trace the origin, but so far as is believed, "this particular story is said to be German in origin..." [wisegeek.com]
First, the speculations as to who she was as a real, live person. I, myself, have no doubt that she started out as a regular, common, unknown, noby, that nobody and everbody knew, that part doesn't usually change, unless you're Walt Disney. By my reckoning, she was the only daughter, like in the Grimm story, of an old farming couple, kidnapped by a jeolous, neighbhor, who didn't have children or a husband.
In some versions of this story, Repunzel is exiled into the distant woods, after the witch finds out she's pregnant through a unwitty confession. In her exiled she bore two children, both to the prince, who not only got her pregnant out of wedlock, but also "fell in love with her at first sight and hearing her voice, and she was completely willing to do it all too." When the prince comes to finally free her from the witch, he finds, not his love, but the witch, Mother Gothel, and in his sorrow for losing her, he throws himself down, out of the tower and face-first into a thorn-bush, that blinds him. From there, he just wanders aimlessly, eating whatever.
There are many different ways, this dilema is solved, the Brothers' said that he wandered upon her voice and followed, and her tears, or sometimes her kisses heal him. Like any good Faerie tale, one knows where the story takes place by the setting is by the phrasing, like, "and they lived happily ever after..." or "There was once..." no real reference as to where or even when they are, giving away that they are actullay in Faerie.
Would Repunzel be good for even my twelve year old brother to read? Not even if he begged. Filled with child abandonment, addiction, death, attempted suicide; this is an early seed planter for bad ideas in any young minds.
Cinderella---> a virtuous young maid, whose lost her mother, and never really had her father for emotional support. Abused by her stepmother and her stepsisters, incessantly, since her father had remarried.
Pure of heart, kind in all her acts, and depicted different ways through many different people and cultures. According to an article by neely Tucker, Cinderella is at least 1200 years old. Her first recorded sighting was China in A.D. 850, her name was Yeh-hsien, and instead of her savior being a handsome, young prince, it was a ten-foot long fish. More than a century before the brothers Grimm, a Frenchman named Charles Perrault included her in the Tales of Mother Goose and her name was Cindrillon.
The Brothers named her Ashenputtel, because she had to sleep in the ashes of the hearth of her living room. By 1893, Cinderella tales have collected to 340 versions, and todayno one knows how many there are. Of course, anyone these days loves the walt Disney movie from 1950. The list goes on, from Cinderella in the Korean horror flick to Seaseme Street's, Elmoerella, and then came more modern takes of the story like pretty Woman, Working Girl, and Maid in Manhatten.
There's no doubt in my mind that this girl would be a great influence on little ones, boys and girls both, unless, like in the Brothers' version, she keeps letting her birds peck out her stepsister's eyes. Is this legend compateable with the Disney version? In its and pieces. Could she, as a whole legend, be good for children younger than ten years old? Maybe not. These are the Grimm's Tales after all.
Little Briar Rose---->The diffeence between the Grimm's version and the Disney film is astounding withing the first few paragraphs. In an articleby John Davis of Suite 101, this story holds "basic elements in both Nordic mythology and 16th century literaure." The fable had been developed by Giambattisto Basile and revised by Charles Perrault and the Brothers' Grimm.
A 12th century Norse series, Volsunga, speaks of an enraged Odin. His wrath aimed at the Valkyie, Brunhilda, and he cursed her to sleep forever, surrounded by fire, and unless she were awakened by true love and married, she would stay there for all time. Siegfied, poor, unknown of the world, enters her domain of slumber and awakens her by cutting of her armour. A little anti-climactic, if you were to ask me.
1528, Percefrost was printed in Paris. This volume was based on an oral legend in the 1300's. This parable also included a story called "Historie de Troylus et de Zellandine" or "History of Troylus and Zellandine". In here, it tells of a jealous goddes who curses Zellandine for her surpassing beauty, into a deep sleep, and, years later, Prince Troylus finds her sleeping form and sexually assaults her. She woke up pregnant and they have the child later, of course.
Early 1600s, an Italian nobleman, Basile, published, Pentamerone, like the Grimm Tales, a collection of Faeire stories. Among them, is said to be a story called "Sun, Moon, and Talia". Here, the main character is Talia and she's just dumb enough to get herself pricked by a poisonous thorn and falls into a cursed sleep. Along comes a prince, a married prince, no less, and he rapes her in her sleep. Talia wakes pregnant, has twins, as a result, and the prince's wife soon finds out. Her Highness takes the children to the royal cook and command's him to cut them up and serve them as stew for the prince's dinner that night. He throw's a fit upon knowing this and throws his wife into the fire, and goes to the cook to find out that his children were alright and takes them back and marries Talia.
1800s, The brothers' Grimm made a more child-apropriate version: "Little Briar Rose", which Walt Disney a small tribute to in the film "Sleeping Beauty". Her names were Briar Rose and Aurora.
In all hoesty, I don't see how this tale could even remotely constitue for a children's story. Not the greatest example for girls. I mean, this vulnerable young girl is tricked, or cursed into sleep-- that speaks, highly, of extreme gullibility, or blondeness-- and taken advantage of in her sleep-- that is lack of control of bodily functions by the men, were they that overly deprived they had to rape a girl who won't wake up?-- no matter what form she takes. In this story, obviously, young women have not yet learned the phrase "stranger danger" or even the concept of a locked door.
Rumpelstiltskin----> One of my personal favorites, Rumpelstilskin is, above all, conniving, tricky, witty, and at points, dark. This story follows a miller's daughter, after he proffesses of her "ability" to spin gold thread from hay, he was the root of her problems. But if nothing else, this is an example of boasting and bragging of false comings. He never pays for what he's done to his daughter.
Enter a small, strange, slightly derranged goblin creature, Rumpelstiltskin. At first he spins the gold for her for a smal, seemingly harmless trinkets. But that was in order for her to not doubt his ability and believe in him. Nobody knows why, but one day he comes to her and tells her that he will spin the hay if he gets to keep her first child. People have been speculating this part for centuries. Would he raise the child as his slave? was he just lonely and this was his golden opportunity? No one knows, or has found out, but one thing: he really wanted that baby. Years pass and the King marries the girl and soon she becomes pregnant with her first child. She is suddenly brought back into her deal with the difformed creature, and she tries to find a way to reverse the deal. He agrees to one solution, because, the odds are in his favor, right? In her three days to find out his name, the new Queen scours the country searching for any person who knows of this mysterious being.
Stories have been told for millenia saying that knowing a man's name is to have complete control over them. In legends of Faeries themselves, they are thought to never give their full real name for fear that they would then have to bend to the will of the one who found it. Even the Bible describes this power. "The Judeo-Christian God has a name that those who know it don't speak", ever.
Rumpelstiltskin bet that he was on top of the pyramid, and he lost, bitterly. In some variants of the tale, the ends to him are very different, from jumping out a window, stomping the ground so hard he sinks into the earth, to even pulling his hair so hard he rips himslef in two. But no matter how he goes, he's gone. He can never live in a place where they know his name, dead or alive.
The thing about the Grimm Fairy Tales, is just that: they're all grim and hard to digest unless one is ready for it. The power these stories hold in and of themselves, on any mind, is extremely deep and goes back for generations. Granted, these can be great, amazing stories, but with a child, in the presence and hears one, they can be a fathomlessly powerful force in that young of an imagination. I will always love this collection, but that doesn't mean I'm always prepared for what it thorws at me around the corner. I will forever admire the lengths these two legendary brothers went through to get this tome completed, but it wasn't properly titled, they are not Christmas and Household Fairy Tales, but rather more to the point, The Grimm's Legacy of the Dark and Fantastical, this title, I believe, will hold more influencial power in telling a family if they should get this tome or not. A love for fantasy and a quest for Faerie always will start early, but it needs to nurished and pruned properly, or it will collapse.
As Albert Einstein once said, "I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the enitre world." This tremendous accomplishment for the known world is a treasury left behind by the ancient one, buried beneeth our feet, history no one knows anymore, but chooses to imagine... as I have already pointed out in this introduction: there always was "deeper meaning in the fairy tales of my childhood, than in the truths that are taught by life."