The Brothers Grimm: History Of More Than Just Fairytales

By | May 14, 2019

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Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Source: (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

We all know the Brothers Grimm from their collections of fairytales, including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, but there was much more to the Brothers Grimm than just fairytales. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were among the most noteworthy German scholars of the early 1800s. Their work in historical linguistics was not child’s play, but serious academic research that advanced our understanding of language development. Although the brothers should be heralded for their scholarly research and academic theories, we forever remember them from collecting and preserving stories and folk tales

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The Brothers Grimm…From Riches to Rags

Jacob Grimm was born in Germany in 1785 and his brother, Wilhelm, was born a year later. Their father, Philipp Wilhelm Grimm, was a lawyer, judge, and town clerk and the family enjoyed a prominent lifestyle. When their father died of pneumonia, however, the family endured economic hardships. They were forced to let their servants go, relied on money given to them by their wealthy aunt, and the brothers had to work odd jobs to earn money for the family.