The Brother’s Grimm

9 Dec

One of my favorite aspects of German history and culture is its rich tradition of folklore. It was the work of two German Academics, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, that brought many of today’s most popular and enduring fairy tales into the European collective consciousness. Without their work in collecting and modernizing classical European stories, it is unlikely that we would know of such famous stories as Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and the Frog Prince.
The bothers Jacob and Wilhelm were born on January fourth, 1785 and February twenty fourth, 1786, respectively, in Hanau Germany. Although suffering from many hardships along side their other siblings in their young lives, the two brothers rose to become prominent academics, working primarily in the field of German linguistics. Aside from their collection of Fairy Tales, the brothers actually wrote the first comprehensive German Dictionary, as well as developing Grimm’s Law, a linguistic theory that demonstrated German’s connection to and transitional history from other more ancient languages. While celebrated for their academic achievements, The Brothers Grimm are also credited with the foundation of Germany’s earliest democratic movements and are still celebrated as the pioneers of German Politics.
While these little know facts about the brothers Grimm, of which there are many more, are quite interesting, the main reason I care about them is their collections of European Folklore and Fairy Tales. Their two volumes of stories make up the second most comprehensive collection of European Folklore ever complied, and certainly the most accessible. The most important thing about their collections is the manner in which they were able to convert all of the tales they came across into a more modern and easily understood style, allowing the stories to proliferate throughout all of Europe. Without the work of the Brothers Grimm, it is likely that many of the most important stories of our ancestors would have been lost forever.


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