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Grimm Brothers: Great German Fairy Tale Writers

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Grimm Brothers: Great German Fairy Tale Writers

Born into a German family were two brothers: Jakob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm Carl Grimm. Jakob was born on January 4, 1785, in Hanau, Germany, and Wilhelm was born on February 24, 1786, in Hanau, Germany. Jakob and Wilhelm were born to Philipp Wilhelm Grimm and Dorothea Grimm, who had nine children, but only six of their children survived childhood, leaving Jakob being the oldest, and Wilhelm being the second oldest. Jakob and Wilhelm were inseparable brothers, and they always did everything together. When Jakob and Wilhelm were younger, they loved to hear stories told in their town, and collecting stories was something they loved doing together. The Grimm brothers were very intelligent boys, and they always got good grades in school. The Grimm brother's father was a lawyer, so in 1802, Jakob followed in his father's footsteps and went to the University of Marburg. Jakob going to college, of course, meant leaving Wilhelm behind, but nothing could keep the two brothers away from each other for too long. So in 1803, Wilhelm also enrolled into the University of Marburg. "Living in a time of cultural, political, and social change, they hoped that their studies might awaken national pride and purpose."( McGathery, 394) While in the University, Jakob and Wilhelm started collecting folk and fairy tales. Eventually, both Jakob and Wilhelm became professors at Berlin University.

In 1808 the Grimm brothers mother died at the age of fifty-two. She left Jakob and Wilhelm in charge of taking care of the family. Somehow Jakob had to support his younger brothers and sister, so he took a job as a librarian at Kassal, Germany. Soon Wilhelm followed him. Jakob and Wilhelm's love of books made it easier for them to enjoy their job.

Later in life, Jakob and Wilhelm started to complete a project they had started in college, a project they both loved and a project they both enjoyed. They finished collecting stories from friends and acquaintances who lived in and around Kassel, Germany between 1807 and 1814. When the time came, the two boys wrote their first book of tails called Kinder und Hausmarchen. Their first book was a great success in Germany and abroad because readers were so happy to see the stories they had been told as children all collected together. "In Germany it was the most reprinted book after Luther's bible." (The German Fairytale Road) Jakob and Wilhelm collected most of their last stories as well as some from their first edition, from printed sources. The brothers published the tales to preserve work they belived was created by the people (McGlathery, 394).

The Grimm brothers soon became famous all over Germany for their many tales. Jakob and Wilhelm's fairy tales are very magical and include several interesting characters. Many of the Grimm's fairytales teach us lessons,



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