THE BROTHERS GRIMM Biography - Writers


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The Brothers Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, were German                           
academics who were best known for publishing collections of folk tales and fairy   
talesand for their work in linguistics, relating to how the sounds in words       
shift over time (Grimm's Law). They are among the best known story tellers of     
novellas from Europe, allowing the widespread knowledge of such tales as Snow     
White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel.                               
Jakob Ludwig Grimm and Wilhelm Karl Grimm were born on January 4, 1785, and       
February 24, 1786, respectively, in Hanau near Frankfurt in Hessen. They were     
among a family of nine children, six of whom survived infancy. Their early         
childhood was spent in the countryside in what has been described as an "idyllic" 
state. When the eldest brother Jakob was eleven years old, however, their father, 
Philipp Wilhelm, died, and the family moved into a cramped urban residence.       
Two years later, the children's grandfather also died, leaving them and their     
mother to struggle in reduced circumstances. (Some modern psychologists have       
argued that this harsh family background influenced the ways the Brothers Grimm   
would interpret and present their tales. The Brothers tended to idealize and       
excuse fathers, leaving a predominance of female villains in the tales—the       
infamous wicked stepmothers.