The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

December 20, 2016

December 20, 1812

The stories we call Grimm's Tales for Children and the Household, are

.... more various and far bigger than the core of ‘magic’ stories we label Grimms’ Fairy Tales, following the style set by their earliest translators (it started at eighty-six in the two volumes of 1812 and 1815, but grew to two hundred and ten by the seventh edition of 1857!) The presence of fables, tall tales, moralities, earthy — but not too earthy — comic anecdotes, and many literary borrowings changes the constellation we are familiar with.

That first edition, published December 20, 1812, was not just expanded.

[B]y the second edition of 1819 Wilhelm had banished ...[contes de fee] and any other words, like Prinzessin of such French pedigree. (He turned her into a ‘king’s daughter’.) He removed stories too: ‘Puss-in-Boots’, ‘Bluebeard’ from French sources, ‘The Hand with the Knife’ from Scottish. Why? They weren’t German enough.

[The brothers] intended these tales,.... to be part of a wider project of rescuing old cultural phenomena in danger of being lost to the modern world, and rediscovering a simple German folk tradition in face of both the sophisticated French cultural influence long prevailing at court, and of immediate invasion and occupation by Napoleon’s armies.

We learn this from an Oxford University Press blog post by Joyce Crick.

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