Review of Grimm's Fairy Tales

by Tbonius

In 1812 the Brothers Grimm published a Children's and Household Tales, or as it's better known: Grimm's Fairy Tales. It remains one of the central works of Western culture.

The Fairy Tales

Still Grimm after all these years

Grimm's Fairy Tales Cover The Brothers Grimm, whose name is synonymous with children's tales, are the font from which so much of our folk stories flow. With the publication of Grimm's Fairy Tales, the brothers became a household name. Their most famous tales are instantly recognizeable: "Rumpelstiltskin", "Snow White", "Rapunzel", "Cinderella", "Hansel and Gretel", and "The Frog Prince."

Over time they've been reworked and recycled, adapted and adulterated - generally transformed in every conceivable way possible. In their original form they are a far cry from the watered down versions produced by Disney. They're far more violent and morbid and awesome.

History of The Brothers Grimm

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, who were born in Hanau Germany in the late 1700s, were brilliant scholars and linguists. Jacob was also a lawyer and has his own law (Grimm's Law) named after him. Though these two men are still recognized as founding fathers of German cultural and linguistic studies, they're remembered widely today for their codifying of European folk tales. 

Many of these stories had been written down by French author Charles Perrault in the 1600s. He's considered the "Father" of the fairy tale; but it wasn't until the Grimms published them that they were read and enjoyed worldwide. 

Jacob and Wilhem Grimm

The Brothers Grimm
From a painting in 1855
From a painting in 1855

Grimm vs. Disney

The differences in the original tales to Disney's sanitized versions is somewhat striking. 


  • In the Grimm's version of Cinderella, the wicked step sisters try to hack off chunks of thier feet in order to get the glass slippers to fit. 
  • Originally the Prince finds out about the step sisters by a pair of pidgeons - the birds then proceed to peck their eyes out. The sisters are forever after blind beggars!

Snow White 

  • In the Grimm version, the evil queen wishes to have Snow White’s liver, lungs and heart for dinner! 
  • In the Disney version, Snow White is woken by the Prince's kiss. In the Grimm version, she's awakened when the horse, which is carrying her coffin, hits a bump in the road! 

Original Cover

Grimm's Fairy Tales
Circa 1865
Circa 1865

Bedtime anyone?

So if you're looking for something to read to the kids before bedtime, this might not be the best option. Perhaps when they're a bit older, or with the right parental 'editing' Grimm's Fairy Tales might work. Regardless, this collection is a timeless masterpiece, which will be loved by young and old alike.

If you're looking for a free version of the Brothers Grimm stories you can download them for free here in PDF for your iPad or as a Kindle file. 

Or check out these great versions from Amazon: 

Buy Grimm's Fairy Tales

At Amazon
Grimm's Fairy Tales (Calla Editions)

This Calla Edition of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm is drawn from the mammoth collection first published in 1909 and illustrated by Arthur Rackham. His 40 full-color ...

$40.00  $20.82
The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales

The all-time classic collection of fairy tales. This easy to read edition includes sixty-two (yes, 62!) favorite tales for children, including: RAPUNZEL HANSEL AND GRETEL THE ...

$7.75  $6.26
Household Tales by Brothers Grimm

Children's and Household Tales (German: Kinder- und Hausmärchen) is a collection of German origin fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers ...

Only $14.95
The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm All-New Third Edition

The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers GrimmPerhaps no other stories possess as much power to enchant, delight, and surprise as those penned by the immortal Brothers Grimm. ...

$23.00  $10.00
Updated: 01/10/2012, Tbonius
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