Friday, February 24, 2006
Today is the Birthday of Wilhelm Karl Grimm, born in Hanau, Germany in 1786. Along with his older brother Jacob, he published the collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales in 1812, the first collection of folklore in modern publishing history.
Of the two brothers, Wilhelm was more romantic and literary. Jacob did most of the theorizing about folklore. At first, the story collecting did not go well. The idea was to find ordinary peasants to tell their stories, but the peasants were too intimidated to talk. In a letter to Jacob, Wilhelm wrote, " The fairy tale collection is going along wretchedly."
Wretchedly? How Grimm!