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The Grimm Brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm, are popular for their published collection of German folklore “Kinder- und Hausmärchen” or Children’s and Household Tales. Their main goal was to preserve these folklores that were beginning to vanish. They not only succeeded, but they gave us an origin of the world’s most beloved fairy tales.
See the fact file below for more information on the Brothers Grimm or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Brothers Grimm worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
FAMILY AND PERSONAL BACKGROUND
- Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, were born in Hanau, Germany. Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm was born on January 4, 1785, and Wilhelm Carl Grimm on February 24, 1786.
- Jacob was second to eldest and Wilhelm the third. They had seven siblings, three of them died in infancy.
- They had a comfortable life during their childhood as they belonged in a middle-class family. Their father, Philipp Grimm worked as district magistrate.
- Their family was respected among the community in the countryside town of Steinau, where they moved to a large home in 1791.
- Their life began to be difficult when their father died of Pneumonia when they were eleven and ten, forcing the two elder brothers to assume adult responsibilities for their family.
THE BROTHER’S STRUGGLES
- Jacob and Wilhelm’s family became financially dependent on their grandfather and their aunt Henriette Zimmer, who is a first lady-in-waiting at the court of William I.
- They attended high school in Kassel, which was financed by their aunt.
- During this time, their grandfather died, making them much more dependent on each other.
- They both excelled in their studies but became more aware of their social standings.
- They were refused of admission because of their social standings and had to request dispensation.
- Jacob was forced to halt his studies. As the eldest son, he had to take care of his eight siblings and their mother. In 1805, he took an offer to be a research assistant for his law professor, Friedrich von Savigny in Paris.
- Wilhelm, due to his poor health, only started his employment in 1814.
STARTING LITERARY LIFE
- During their years in University of Malburg, they become acquainted with their law professor, Friedrich von Savigny, and romantic poet, Clemens Brentano.
- They ignited the brothers’ enthusiasm for folk poetry. They later gave up their ambition to become a lawyer and pursued literary research.
- Brentano asked them to collect folk tales so he could include them in his literary fairy tales. They submitted fifty-four texts but they were misplaced by Brentano in the Olenberg Monastery.
- Disappointed, they were encouraged by another romantic writer friend, Achim Von Arnim, to publish the collected stories on their own
They collected stories from different sources. Some came from an oral retelling of folklore from the people they interviewed and some from written literature they gathered.
GRIMMS FAIRY TALES
- “Kinder- und Hausmärchen” (Children’s and Household Tales) was their first published collection of German folklore. It was published in two volumes, 1812 and 1815, and translated in English as German Popular Tales.
- It included Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Rumpelstiltskin.
- The first volume of the book has 86 stories, and the second volume has 70 stories.
- Wilhelm gave these old folklores a new appealing form without changing the folkloric character.
- The tone of the story, as it is called Children’s tales, was subjected to criticism as the stories contain violence and subject matters that were not suitable to children.
- However, “good always triumphs over evil” was the constant theme of their stories.
- There were a total of seven editions of this story collection. Some versions have stories added, some subtracted. Some replace the uncomfortable aspect of the stories and given religious undertone.
- The main merit to the brothers is how the stories were incorporated with the German culture and tradition.
- Their method also became and remained as a framework for collecting folktales around the world.
- Kinder- und Hausmärchen was translated into numerous languages around the world.
- The most popular adaptations were from Walt Disney, where they turned these folk tales into fairy tale movies with much less violence and made them more child-friendly.
- It was said that these tales from the Grimm brothers served as the foundation for Disney becoming a giant production company.
- In 1816, the Grimm Brothers published a collection of local legends of Germany entitled “Deutsche – Sagen (German Legends). It got a cold reception from the public.
- They published a translation of “Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (Irische Elfenmärchen) by Thomas Crofton Croker in 1826.
- The Grimm Brothers worked on Deutsches Wörterbuch (The English- German Dictionary), the largest and most extensive German Dictionary. They were not able to finish it. The last word that they worked on was “Frucht” or fruit in English.
- This dictionary provides an extensive description of every word including the word’s etymology.
- Wilhelm Grimm published Die Deutsche Heldensage (“The German Heroic Saga”), which became one of his most outstanding contributions in German literature.
- Jacob wrote an encyclopedic form of Deutsche Mythologie (German Mythology), a study of German Mythology which contains the Germanic religious experience, and Deutsche Grammatik (German Grammar) in 1819.
LIFE AFTER THE TALES
- They moved to the University of Gottingen after staying at Kassel for almost thirty years. It was because of a dispute with Elector of Hessen-Kassel who deprived them of career advancements of being a chief librarians.
- Their stay at the University was smooth sailing where they were appointed as librarian and professor until Ernest Augustus became King of Hanover in 1837.
- The Gottingen Seven, where the Grimm brothers were included, protested against the Kings alteration of the Constitution. They also refused to sign an oath of allegiance resulting in their banishment from Hanover.
- Jacob moved to Kassel where he was joined by his brother Wilhelm and his wife Henriette Dorothea (Dortchen) Wild and their four children.
- They accepted a long time offer to write a German dictionary.
- They were offered posts at the University of Berlin through an appeal made for them by their friends to Frederick William IV of Prussia.
- They attempted to finish the Dictionary in Berlin until the time of their death. Wilhelm on December 16, 1859 and Jacob on September 20, 1863.
Brothers Grimm Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Brothers Grimm across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Brothers Grimm worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Grimm Brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm, who are popular for their published collection of German folklore “Kinder- und Hausmärchen” or Children’s and Household Tales. Their main goal was to preserve these folklores that were beginning to vanish. They not only succeeded, but they gave us an origin of the world’s most beloved fairy tales.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Brothers Grimm Facts
- The Grimm Family
- Personality Wise
- A Literary Life
- Word Hunters
- Four Reasons
- The Brothers’ Movie
- Persons Behind
- To Be A Storyteller
- The Old Tales
- The Life of the Two Genius
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Link will appear as Brothers Grimm Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 3, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
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