Friday, March 28, 2014

Grimms' Fairy Tales: Review

This particular edition of Grimms' Fairy Tales was published in 1945 and was translated by E.V. Lucas, Lucy Crane, and Marian Edwardes.  It also contains fine illustrations (both color and line drawings) by Fritz Kredel. Between the covers are 55 of the 211 tales that the Brothers Grimm have been credited with. Although these tales were originally called Children's and Household Tales--these are not your sweet little, bedtime story fairy tales. The original tales contained subject matter (primarily sexual references) that were thought unsuitable for children and later editions (including this one) removed those references while increasing the violence done to the wicked in the stories. 

This volume includes such recognizable favorites as "Sleeping Beauty," "Snow White," "Rapunzel," "Rumpelstiltskin," "The Elves and the Shoemaker," and "Cinderella." But there are far more new and unfamiliar tales. Most of the stories that were unfamiliar to me ran along similar themes--young men or young women who had to fulfill certain tasks before gaining a "prize" (whether that be gold and riches or a beautiful/handsome spouse). One story in particular caught my attention, however. That was called "Karl Katz" and would seem to be a precursor to Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle." I was very interested to find that there was an earlier version than Irving's tale of the man who fell asleep and woke up hundreds of years later.

I had read several of these stories when I was young, but it was very nice to revisit them and to read all of the new (to me) tales as well. Three stars for a good solid read.

1 comment:

fredamans said...

I believe this is the volume on my kindle. Haven't read it before, but read the stories individually as a child.
Great review!