Brothers Grimm: Selected Tales

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ABOUT SELECTED TALES

Selected Tales contains some of the most timeless and enchanting folk and fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm, translated with an introduction by David Luke

These folktales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are among the most memorable stories in European culture – conjuring up a world of spells and bewitchment, outwitted villains and cruel stepmothers, animal bridegrooms and enchanted princesses. Tales such as ‘Hansel and Gretel’, ‘Little Red Cape’ and ‘The Robber Bridegroom’ depict the dangers lurking in dark forests, and others, including ‘Briar-Rose’ and ‘Snow White’ show young beauties punished by unforgiving sorceresses. Other tales include ‘Thickasathumb’, which portrays a childless young couple whose wish for a baby is granted in an unexpected way, while ‘The Frog King’ tells of a rash promise made by a haughty princess to share her bed with a frog, and a fortune is won in ‘The Blue Lamp’, when a soldier gains a kingdom with the help of a magic lamp. David Luke’s vibrant translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing the key themes of the tales and the literary background of the Brothers Grimm.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jacob Grimm (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786–1859) were born in Hanau, Germany. They both studied at Marburg, and from 1808 to 1829 mainly worked in Kassel as state-appointed librarians. Both brothers had been professors at Göttingen for several years when, in 1837, they became two of the seven leading Göttingen academics dismissed from their posts by the new king of Hanover for their liberal political views. In 1840, they were invited by King Frederick William IV of Prussia to settle in Berlin as members of the Academy of Sciences, and here they remained until their deaths. Jacob, one of Germany’s greatest scholars, is justly regarded as the founder of the scientific study of the German language and medieval German literature. His most monumental achievements were the Deutsche Grammatik (1819–1837) and, with his brother’s assistance, the initiation of the great Deutsches Wörterbuch, the many volumes of which were not completed by later scholars until 1961, and which has become the equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary. Between them, and often in collaboration, the Grimms were reponsible for pioneering work on medieval texts, the heroic epic, legends, and mythology; as well as for many other contributions to the study of ancient German culture. One of their most remarkable publications was the Kinder- und Hausmärchen (1812, with many subsequent editions), which remains to this day the most famous collection of folktales in the world.