Read Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm Arthur Rackham Online


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 plates, plus innumerable black-and-white spot elements, get sensitive treatment in a design that retains the best features of the original, including the ornate gilt stamping on the case....

Title : Grimm's Fairy Tales
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781606600108
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Grimm's Fairy Tales Reviews

  • Lauren Smith
    2019-03-02 04:41

    I'm glad to have read this, simply because fairy tale plots and themes are used so often in modern literature that it felt good to become acquainted with old versions of the tales and get closer to the original folklore. I also enjoyed picking up on some of the values of the time that come across in the stories. That said, most of them are terribly boring. The method of storytelling is something I just could not get comfortable with - rapid, perfunctory, repetitive, bizarrely irrational. It was often disturbingly amoral as well, even more so than stories that try to be realistic about how life goes. There are plenty of the happy endings that have come to characterise fairy tales today, but happy endings were certainly not the standard for these tales - some are incredibly violent and/or downright depressing.I'm not criticising the book or fairy tales in general for this; they're rich cultural texts that still influence literature today. But I decided to go with a subjective rating, which is to say, I did not really enjoy reading this, however valuable the experience.

  • April
    2019-03-08 00:38

    Coursera - Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern WorldFinished 1/2 the stories.My essay: The Clever Shall Inherit?Throughout one’s reading of Grimm’s Household Tales, several familiar faces appear. However, these tales are interspersed between oddities like Clever Grethel, Cat and Mouse in Partnership, and The Three Spinsters. What do we make of these? They definitely do not sing the familiar praises to those who work hard, or those who wait patiently for their prince to come, nor do they give sound warning such as “Don’t talk to strangers.” Let us examine a few odd tales.Clever Grethel “gave herself great airs, and thought herself very fine indeed” (9). We are told that this is not a hard-working, humble person, and we naturally don’t want to be like her. Yet, she is the one who outsmarts her masters.Cat and Mouse in Partnership teaches that although opposites attract, it’d be best to settle down with one similar to yourself, otherwise your differences might lead to an untimely end. But, as the tale-teller concludes, “that is the way of the world” (39).The Three Spinsters highlights a girl who “was too lazy and would not spin,” which was a necessity for women of the times to do (82). The hard workers are described as having deformed features, while the lazy girl doesn’t work, lies about accomplishments, gets the prince, and never has to lift a finger again.All three of the victorious characters (Grethel, Cat, and the lazy girl) used cunning and wit to get their desires. Many different angles could be examined, but the approach I am choosing to highlight is this: Sometimes, those who do evil are just as successful as those who do good.Why does our culture shield the hard truths from the youth, but those who lived hundreds of years ago didn’t? I would argue that the hard tales are just as necessary to building character as the pleasant ones.

  • Julia
    2019-02-25 06:30

    I am taking an online class through Coursera titled FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION: THE HUMAN MIND, THE MODERN WORLD. Grimm's tales are the first selection in the class, and Project Gutenberg has put the entire book online for free, with the wonderful illustrations by Walter Crane.'m enjoying the online discussion forums, since we have hundreds of people from all over the world enrolled in this course. While I would not have chosen the Grimm tales as part of the class, I've learned a great deal! I didn't know that the brothers were part of the Gottingen Seven, professors who protested in 1837 when the King annulled the constitution of Hanover. They lost their jobs; the wikipedia article has a great picture of the bronze monument to these seven men. tales are the original, darker versions upon which the musical INTO THE WOODS is based. I found myself drawn to the less familiar stories, such as "The Queen Bee", in which a younger brother defends ants, ducks, and bees and is rewarded with their help. In fact, my overall impression is that the tales show a much closer connection between humans and the animal world--whether farm animals or wild. I highly recommend Coursera--the professors are from around the world, and it's all free! Over 200 classes are offered in science, math, computers, history, philosophy, and literature.

  • Pavi
    2019-03-04 07:33

    The Golden Bird-why about the golden cages? in this tale, whatever looks good isn't.This story is like the nightmare of the German; no one can properly follow simple instructions. And the moral of the story: if somebody asks fervently to be killed and mutilated do follow through immediately, he might be a prince. :PHans in Luck-The nightmare of the Businessman. A person working hard for seven years, and eventually throwing away the accumulated wealth of years and years of hard work. It does express a reality though, the man who has no attachment to their possessions is a free man. On the other side of this story, people working hardly should be able to keep what they have earned. I expected this story to rather end like this: "Then up he got with a light heart, free from all his troubles, and walked on till he reached his mother's house, and told her how very easy the road to good luck was AND THEN she gave him a good hit on the head to get some sense inside his hollow of a head when she heard he threw away the earnings of seven hard years. After that she send him off to be a Greek politician and with his foolishness he brought the country to economical turmoil and chaos. He still was a happy man."

  • Elius
    2019-03-05 03:40

    It has been fascinating.At first the stories made absolutely no sense to me. There were no morals. They would have a slow start, a nonsense of a middle, and an abrupt and usually violent end. I thought to myself: These are not stories for children! But as I read on I realized that I have been reading it wrong. They are meant for children. I have read them as a child. Except they were called Thakrumar Jhuli in this part of the world. I remembered I used to enjoy them, but it has been so long that I had forgotten.So I continued reading with the specs of a young child and I loved the stories. I started seeing the symbolism. I started understanding why the stories were so violent. I started realizing why these stories seemed abrupt and random and seemed to make no sense.But then I am a grown up now, too. So the "meaning" of the stories that swooshed over my head when I was younger, or something that I may have understood subconsciously was now much clearer. The standards of the times that the stories were written were so absolute and different that you have to wonder about the change in society. The stories are little life lessons where in many cases men are rewarded for their canny and bold manipulation (The Knapsack, The Hat, and the Horn; Six Soldiers of Fortune; and so on) while women are rewarded for their duty, obedience, and industriousness (Aschenputtel, Six Swans, and so on). And many contain no happily ever after at all. A moral isn't being presented here, the idea of good and evil, social and gender roles, etc are being presented.If they were written in the modern times many would probably label them sexist and carry out petitions to get them out of the library. But that has been the way of the world for many centuries before where biological inequality was the same as social inequality. I don't think the concept of 'childhood innocence' even existed in those times.I could go on, but I'll end the review with my favorite story from the book, which would I feel would sum up Brothers Grimm nicely. A cat and a mouse formed a partnership to save up for the winter. But the cat ends up stealing from the storage and when the mouse finds out, instead of justice being served, the cat ends up eating the mouse too. And the story ends there, as most of the Brothers Grimm stories do. "And that is the way of the world"---Read as a part of Coursera: Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern WorldMy essay:The morale presented in The Frog Prince seems questionable at first glance. Unlike most Grimm Brothers stories such as Sleeping Beauty or Aschenputtel were virtue was rewarded, the Princess in this story broke her promise to the frog and even threw him against the wall, yet was rewarded with a "prince with beautiful kind eyes". Yet I contend that there is moral, except that is hidden in perspective.I believe that when the frog asks the princess to "let [him] sit by thee at table, and eat from thy plate, and drink from thy cup, and sleep in thy little bed" that would actually be a form of marriage engagement, for who else would let a stranger sit by her table or eat from her plate? And the young princess has consented to this engagement just so she can get her ball back again, the ball being a catch-all for anything of much importance to her, which points to the fact that she had no real choice in the engagement. "I will promise it all, whatever you want, if you will only get me my ball again."She attempts to back off from her promise, and it was only when the King, her father, forces her to fulfull her promise does she grudgingly do so. The entire set up of the story, thus, was an analogy of an arranged marriage brokered by the father where the daughter does not find the husband attractive.The perspective I spoke about earlier comes from the fact that when one sees the events from the young girl's eyes, one understands why she would behave unwillingly. No one wants to share bed with an ugly frog. Yet, she is forced to do so by the father, and eventually finds over the course of time that the frog was actually a prince.And they lived happily ever after.

  • Kyriakos Sorokkou
    2019-03-18 07:54

    Let me tell you a little story before we start with the review:I am proud to say that when I was in my last year at university (2012) I launch a (small) campaign to bring back the course Children's Literature. So many students promised me to be on the course. We ended up 6 of us, but the course was back nevertheless. One of the main reasons I wanted the course back was this magnificent book: The Norton Anthology of Children's Literature: The Traditions in English a 2470+ pages mammoth book. Along with this another required text was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. How awesome is that? I ended up studying Harry Potter for final exams. I couldn't believe my luck.Anyway along with Harry Potter we studied, nursery rhymes, picture books, Victorian stories, science fiction, and of course fairy tales. We studied 3: Little Red Riding Hood (10 different versions), The Beauty & The Beast, and Hansel & Gretel. And thanks to this course, now, 4 years later I was able to read the Grimms' Fairy Tales with a critical eye.So, this little book was full of fairy tales (duh!). It contained 62. That is 29.3% of all the tales Brothers Grimm collected, edited, and published. (211 in total)But none of the tales scored 5/5 for me. 16 tales scored 2/5. Pretty mediocre, rushed, and repetitive or confusing.32 tales scored 3/5. Interesting but they didn't have what I was personally looking for, in them.14 stories scored 4/5 and they're as follow:10. The Fisherman And His Wife 18. The Valiant Little Tailor 19. Hansel And Gretel22. Little Red Cap [Riding Hood] 31. Snowdrop [Snow White]35. Ashputtel [Cinderella]36. The White Snake37. The Wolf And The Seven Little Kids [Goats]38. The Queen Bee40. The Juniper Tree45. The Four Clever Brothers46. Lily And The Lion57. The Salad 58. The Story Of The Youth Who Went Forth To Learn What Fear WasThese stories that scored 4/5 were mostly the well-known ones like:Snow White, Hansel & Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood,Cinderella, Snow White &c.Or they were inventive and original like:The Valiant Little Tailor, The Salad, The White Snake, &c. Others were either disturbing: The Juniper Treeor spooky The Story Of The Youth Who Went Forth To Learn What Fear Was.The Juniper Tree was the most shocking one. An (evil (how obvious) ) stepmother decapitates her stepson and then stitches his head back but this can't hide the fact that he is dead so she cuts him to pieces and makes sausages out of him à la Shakespeare/Game of Thrones!Another story included incest where a king wanted to marry his daughter which reminded him his beautiful wife. (Cat-Skin)Cinderella is called slut several times by her stepmother. A story with animals (The Adventures Of Chanticleer And Partlet) ends up with all the characters dead (around two dozens) and many more. It's obvious these stories where not intended for children, they are shocking, dark and grim (nice word-play here)What I didn't like from the stories was that women were almost always depicted as evil people. Evil Queens, evil stepmothers, evil maids, evil(ugly) sisters, evil fairies. On the other hand the men were either brave and good or naïve and good, sometimes evil and this when they were magical creatures like dwarfs, giants, hobgoblins (Rumpelstiltskin) &c. Something else I didn't like was that it was always the youngest child that was good and lucky, the older ones where either jealous or evil. I also didn't like the repetitive device of a random guy doing something brave and marrying the princess as a reward. Half of the stories ended with a marriage and the cliché phrase; "and they lived happily ever after". At the beginning it was okay, but then it became repetitive and annoying.So the overall score is 2.96 which translates to 3 stars. Recommended for fairy tales lovers, not curious readers. If you are curious buy it with caution, or buy an illustrated collection.

  • Budi Kurniawan
    2019-02-24 04:46

    Read this for the assignment on my Fantasy and Science Fiction course in Coursera. This book contains most of the familiar Grimm Brothers' fairy tales, and I also had been familiar with some of them. There is a similar pattern which occurred through the stories, and it is a repetition of an act or things, which is quite annoying for me and could be boring at times. The stories are dealing with themes like greed, ignorance, generosity, etc. and they do have some moral lessons in them.

  • Merril Anil
    2019-03-15 00:39

    Fairy tale as bloody as it comesForgive me for i am going to be all preachy and philosophical in my reviewOnce upon a time there were two brothers going by the name “Grimm Brothers”. Over the period of time they chronicled stories emerging from all sorts of land and nature. These stories were tainted with horrors of human evilness ranging from the ability to cut and bleed their own family to throwing away humanity for a piece of gold. These stories were ironically grim as the name of the authors itself.The Grimm brother’s stories were never originally the rosy and chocolate coated versions that is floating around today, as the introduction of the book itself states that these books were dark and warnings for the children against the world that they were going to step into and meanwhile also tried to impart the quintessential theory “good triumphs over the evil” (trust me after reading the book, i don't think that the Grimm brothers were indicating that there could be a possibility for romance with the wolf by telling us the story of Red riding Hood..the brothers must be rolling in their graves listening to all the werewolf romances ) The stories got moulded and sweetened that we never looked upon them as the authors scribbled it to be. In fact what we saw was the prince getting princess or a pauper becoming king on a fine day for an act of bravery or cleverness. The gruesomeness of wolf ripping apart an old lady or being married to a monster was all morphed into fairy tales that we grew up on making us wait for the day when our own version of such stories came true. Sadly it comes true when you hit the six feet hole in the ground.These stories had been handed down over generation after generations and now it has taken a life and shape of its own and because of which it was kind of fun visiting the initial version. The book is a collection of about sixty stories including tom thumb, Rumpelstiltskin, red riding hood, rapunzel and many other and each being about two to three pages long. The Grimm brother’s book is not the picture storybook version that we enjoyed hearing as a toddler. These are the real versions. I found many of the stories repetitive in themes and shockingly many of the popular stories I heard had a different twist and treatment in the book. (Cinderella named ashputtel and the step sisters cutting their heels of to fit into the shoes ..yup so much different than the movie and picture book version.) It was good to read but I also found it a bit boring being devoid of the rosiness and almost sixty stories running the same theme.What i learnt reading the fairy tale is this

  • Dan
    2019-03-07 04:48

    As, it seems, for many others, I read this book for an online course in Fantasy and Science Fiction literature. Although I've read Grimm's fairy tales before, as a child, it was always the "sanitized" version that had been modified to be children's literature instead of the original adult tales. Fascinating differences and a completely different perspective. Interesting introduction to this course.

  • Lee
    2019-03-10 04:43

    Yeah, like the darker aspect of the fairy tales, some of them were pretty good. Common themes in the stories were Violence, deceit, cannibalism, greed, just to name a few. Not meant for children? Disagree, I think children are over protected and not given an accurate view of the way the world works. While cannibalism isn't popular in today's societal norms, violence, deceit, and greed are. I think these are things children should be aware of, the good guy does not always win and the sanitized, watered down Disney happily ever after version doesn't teach children anything. While I wouldn't recommend reading this book from cover to cover as I did, the stories get a bit old and monotonous, they are definitely worth the read. I say read them with your children, discuss the moral implications of the stories. They really aren't any worse than the movies they are watching or the video games they are playing. Besides, they might actually learn something and enjoy it. Where I can see 10 year old boys scoffing at the Disney version of these stories, they might enjoy the Grimm version and it could encourage them to read, something I feel the youth of today doesn't do enough of.

  • Emperador Spock
    2019-03-07 01:46

    I have read this book for the Fantasy and SF course at Coursera, not only because it was a requirement for the course, but also -- by extension -- because I, someone who profoundly hates fairy tales, decided to give them a second chance. And what a huge disappointment and a load of unimaginative, repetitive, redundant, ungainly crap it's turned out to be! Most of these stories seem to be made up on the spot, by people who are awful at it. The rest are their rip-offs with cosmetic alterations (oh, oh, so the evil stepmother wasn't drowned in a pool, she was roasted alive, and they lived happily ever after, and never had any need for cured meat).The only story that is worthy of anything more than four-letter words is 'Clever Grethel'. The tiny Blackadder-esque adventure is worth checking out. The rest is shite.

  • Wilma Monica
    2019-02-25 04:29

    I'm troubled about giving this book a 4 instead of 3.5. It's indeed because I did learnt a lot from this book, about moral, the old English grammar but also I did learnt that this book contains a lot of immoral stories, adulthood stories and probably isn't suitable for children at all.. If you did want to tell your children a fairy tale, I presume you should go with the Disney's story retelling about these fairy tales and keep this book with you for yourself..This book consist of 53 stories from the Grimm's fairy tales, including The Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Cap (the story about Red Riding Hood on this day). I really enjoyed them a lot. It's light to read and relaxing, even with some stories that rather creepy like Cinderella or The Rabbit's bride. I always believe Cinderella's story from Disney's version. And realizing that that version wasn't the original one sadden me.The writing was quite difficult for me to comprehend for the first time I read this book. Since it's using the old English's grammar. As I kept my reading process, I started to enjoy and to understand it better. The vocabulary wasn't hard for me and I learnt a lot of new vocabulary from this book.My favorite stories would be Faithful John since it taught us that being faithful will eventually brings us more goodness in life rather than being cunning or breaking an oath. The stories also taught us that it's okay if you makes mistake sometimes and if you learn to fix that mess, it will bring fortunes as well.Tom Thumb taught us that being physically small doesn't mean that you heart, spirit, and mind will be small as well. It's turns out that Tom could go home safely by himselfThe Twelve Brothers taught us that blood bond was stronger than everything in this world. The maiden not knowingly blamed by her brothers for being in this world that makes their father wants to kill them all. They were so angry that put an oath that the first maiden they encountered will be put on death. It turns out that the first maiden they met was their own sister. And in the end it was their own sister that helped them.It does have a lot of good moral stories in this book. But most of them are immoral stories which is the stories about killing or cunning or wicked or betrayal and so on..I wouldn't suggest this book for children and didn't agree that this book is suitable enough for a children book. That's is the main reason why I can't give this book higher that 3.5 or 4

  • Anthony
    2019-02-22 01:49

    The key takeaway I have garnered from reading the stories is the apparent asymmetry between the consequences of committing sins and leading a virtuous life. Of the two, the downside to life appears to be unambiguous. We can probably use the seven deadly sins, envy and greed most of all, as a guideline to what not to do in life, lest you end up unhappy or dead. The fate that awaits the envious stepsisters is a reminder of this. The upside, in contrast, is more subtle. For example, in the story “The Brother and Sister”, the reward for the sister’s kindness appears to be the on-the-spot decision by the King to marry her, who is attracted to her outer beauty. The same outcome happens in the story “The Three Little Men in the Wood”, in which the King decided to marry the girl because “he saw that she was very beautiful”. Surely, try as one might, one cannot change one’s outer beauty? Does your happiness depend on an attribute that you are endowed with from birth, and not on one’s virtue and inner beauty? My initial interpretation was that this was the author’s nod to the grim reality for the common folks in the medieval times, the main message being that you need to be virtuous, but that is not sufficient, for a happy life. You need to be lucky as well. However, I have developed another interpretation, which is that perhaps you become beautiful on the outside if you become beautiful inside? One story that aided me in this interpretation is Mr. Korbes, in which the cause and effect is wonderfully blurred so that Mr. Korbes is judged to have been a bad person because he is killed. At any rate, the stories appear to leave the door wide open for the reader to think and interpret in his or her own way.

  • Andy
    2019-03-06 06:41

    An enjoyable assortment of the Grimms' fairy tales with really wonderful illustrations. If you've never read the Grimms, their stories are often shockingly violent. The heavily bowdlerized form in which they are currently found in today's culture are faint shadows of their vicious antecedents. For example: Cinderella's (Aschenputtel's) stepsisters hack pieces off of their feet to try to fit the slipper, and are given away by the blood flowing out of the shoe. Try reading that one to your kid before you put him to bed. While you should maybe exercise discretion before giving these to children, I do recommend more intellectually mature kids and adults read these stories. They cut a little closer to the quick; the writing has few if any frills, and the punching prose gives the tales a sense of fierce vivaciousness. The Grimms themselves assembled the stories from existent German folk tales, and in reading these you get a sense of the primeval, of a time when life was nastier, brutish-er, and shorter. I am reminded a bit of Le Morte d'Arthur, in whose reading I was struck by the casual way in which characters appear and die. Some of the stories are of low quality: pedantic, or silly, or pointlessly depressing (man, "The Death of the Hen" was a downer). They are outnumbered by the great ones: "Aschenputtel," "The Gallant Tailor," "The Frog Prince," and my personal favorite, "Cat and Mouse in Partnership," which gives Kafka's "A Little Fable" a real run for its money. I also want to reiterate how terrific the illustrations are in the Cranes' edition of the Grimms. They are really rich in style and detail and help absorb the reader into the fairy tale world.

  • Tracie
    2019-02-20 01:30

    If it wasn't for the Grimm's collection of fairy tales Disney would be short quite a few princesses. Of course, if you only know the "Disneyized" version you are in for quite a surprise.Reading the collection of tales really allowed me to see the similarities in themes among many of the stories. Many of the stories, such as "Clever Else" and "Fred and Kate", really seemed to be variations of the same tale. In the tale "Roland" it was interesting to see the idea of the evil step-mother's death brought about by dancing developed much more than the cursory mention at the conclusion of the much better known "Snow White." The translation reads well, though I can't comment on how accurate the translations may be. The two stories I compared to other known translations ("Asctenputtel" and "The Twelve Brothers") contained only small variations, typically in the more lyrical segments. The illustrations are a very nice complement to the stories and displayed very well in the Kindle edition of this text. Though it always nice to revisit a favorite story I highly recommend reading the book in its entirety to get a feel for the fairy tales that are such a staple in our modern culture.

  • Denisa C
    2019-03-13 03:50

    I am never going to finish this wholly, but I was more than 64% into it. I will make it up with the next volume of short stories. I hope I never do this again, but who knows. Some fairy tales were interesting, some weird. So that's make it an average book. I am really not that into short stories. I recommend some of them or all of them. They are fairy tales after all. At least try a few.I've been reading this for the last 3 years. It was time to be done with it.

  • Heidi Elmore
    2019-03-04 02:34

    I am actually reading this book off of a web site, since I cannot find a copy of it and the website contains more of the brothers grimm stories than this book does. The website is here: and the stories are public domain.I love the classical renditions of Grimms fairy tales. I was raised on the watered down Disney versions, which are nice in their own right, but I have always wanted to see these. They are much more violent and (most) get their point across quite neatly.So far, I have read:"The Frog King" which is odd because the frog changes into a prince in quite a different way that I am used to"Our Lady's Child" which I found to be sort of a strange way to tell the old so-long-as-you-tell-the-truth-in-the-end tale, because the way the brothers Grimm told it, it seemed that the girl was being rewarded in the end for all of her lying"The Good Bargain" - you just have to read it for yourself"Brother and Sister" which I nearly didn't understand at all"The Riddle""Mother Holle" - one of my favorite childhood stories that I had forgotten about"The Girl Without Hands" which is one of the strangest stories I've ever heard"Clever Elsie"and"Clever Hans"There are tons more left too! :)

  • William
    2019-03-08 04:53

    Children's and Household Tales (Kinder und Hausmärchen) by the Brothers Grimm contains a treasury of fairy tales with titles familiar to many the world over. For instance, we have Aschenputtel (Cinderella), Little Red Cap (Little Red Riding Hood), Schneewittchen (Snow White), Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and Rumpelstilzchen (Rumpelstiltskin) to name just a few. That said, the versions adapted by Disney for their animated children's movies are strikingly different from the original tales as recounted by the Grimm Brothers. There is simply no comparison; the Disney versions have been watered down and altered. The original tales are bold, and sometimes outright bloody and cruel. They are gritty and unapologetic about it. And there are many more tales to explore beyond those that were popularized by Disney. These tales are timeless. They speak to our psyches even now. They tap into archetypal images and motifs that have just as much relevance today as they did when they were collected/written back in the early 19th century. A must read for any connoisseur of fantastical literature.

  • Julia França
    2019-03-19 06:57

    I read this for the Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World course at cousera.orgBest word for it is interesting. It is not the original version of the fairytales, but it is not the pretty version Disney gives us today either. Studing it was very cool. Just don't fool yourself, although interesting, it doesn't stop being weird.

  • Veronika
    2019-02-28 00:35

    5 starsTo be honest, I love fairy tales even though I´m an adult for uwuite a long time... And all the classic fairy tales are the best, in my opinion, everybody should read them and tell them to their kids. These Grimms fairy tales are cool and awesome and not to forget THE BASIC ones... And I LOVE them!!

  • Adina
    2019-03-01 04:27

    Reread some of this for a Fantasy lit course on Coursera that I'm auditing and my childhood bad opinion about the Grimm Brothers was confirmed. Most of the time, the moral of the stories are that if you are witty and cunning you will succeed in the end.

  • Steve Bolen
    2019-02-22 00:57

    I had to read this book for a Fantasy and SciFi class I'm taking at Coursera. I was dreading it at first but actually it flew by. It is funny how many modern book and movie storylines can still be traced to these old tales.

  • Rachelle
    2019-02-21 06:52

    Was good! Essay done, on to the next!

  • Sofia
    2019-03-02 05:33

    Read for Coursera: Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World.

  • Sultanat
    2019-03-15 03:49

    Currently reading for Coursera- Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind , Our Modern World.

  • Aditya Mallya
    2019-03-03 02:35

    Essay for the 'Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World' course offered by the University of Michigan at Household Stories, the brothers Grimm look to arm children with a more realistic view of the world by presenting them with an array of tales with counterintuitive and sometimes conflicting moralities.In the dominant cultural narrative, children’s stories have come to follow a predictable arc: Good people are confronted by an unpleasant force, fall into oppression, discover a hidden power or quality, overcome the oppressor and live happily ever after. Phrases like ‘fairytale romance’ and ‘Cinderella story’ stem from the idealized worlds presented in these stories. This is in stark contrast with the world painted by the brothers Grimm.The Death of the Hen (p.12) is a gloomy tale that features the death of all its characters. In Hansel and Grethel (p.85), a mother plots to abandon her children in the woods because she cannot feed them. In Cat and Mouse in Partnership (p.37), the mouse, who has been cheated by the cat throughout the story, gets eaten by him. “And that is the way of the world,” the tale concludes.Sometimes, stories seem to have contradictory morals: Dishonesty and cunning are severely punished in The Goose Girl (p.20) but rewarded in Clever Grethel (p.9). Obedience pays off in Mother Hulda (p.128), but laziness does in The Three Spinsters (p.82). Animals are cruelly treated by humans in The Wonderful Musician (p.52) but get the upper hand in The Bremen Town Musicians (p.136). Justice and injustice seem to be equal possibilities in this world.Conventional wisdom states children must be provided with sweet, utopian fiction where the choice between good and evil is clear and all ends well. However, the very idealism of these stories makes them unrealistic. Through their morally ambiguous fantasy tales, the brothers Grimm not only gave children an unpredictable and entertaining reading experience, but also prepared them for a complex and treacherous journey through the real world.

  • MZ Fairtlough
    2019-02-21 06:41

    Of the hundreds of stories collected by the Grimms between 1806 and 1850, only a handful remain in the mainstream two hundred years on. Some have attributed this to the disappearance of the oral story telling tradition in Europe, as society became industrialised. Were it not for the Grimms’ extensive written records, perhaps much of their catalogue would now be lost forever. So what has survived and why?A review of ten random English-language fairytale collections indicates today's top Grimm stories are: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel, Little Red Cap, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, and Rumpelstilskin. Why have these "überstories" persisted? A superficial analysis of the Crane translation provides some clues: unlike anecdotes such as Lucky Hans, überstories enjoy several things in common: a heroine, rewards for the good (and dire punishments for the bad), a plethora of things repeated three times, a smattering of magic or at the very least a talking animal, and, only after tremendous adversity, a happy ending. The existence of a similar tale by Perrault or others and/or an evil stepmother also helped ensure persistence.Some tales that have fallen by the wayside, such as The Raven, also exhibit these features however. So what else mattered? Perhaps the knife that pared away the forgettable from the enduring was the quality of the prose--who could resist the description of the King’s daughter in The Frog Prince: “…the youngest was so beautiful that the sun himself, who had seen so much, wondered each time he shone over her…” So why were some stories better formulated than others?Maybe the hidden filter was the predominant audience of the oral stories in a patriarchal society: women stayed at home while men worked in the fields. Considering that the überstories involve heroines who achieve a better life, perhaps powerless girls asked for their favourite tales to be repeated over and over, and fantasised about impossible possibilities. Such infinite iterations might have honed the telling and selection of stories we know and love today.

  • Dario Malic
    2019-03-09 04:36

    My essay for the "Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World" course on Coursera: The visual appearance of women plays an important part in Grimms' tales filled with beautiful princesses and ugly witches . It's almost always connected with personality traits like in The Three Little Men in the Wood where one step-sister is "pleasant and pretty" and the other "ugly and hateful", or Mother Hulda where the women are "pretty and industrious" and "ugly and lazy". It seems that good traits are connected with having a good appearance and bad traits with having a bad one, but it's more complicated than that. In Snow-white both the titular character and the queen, her step-mother, are incredibly beautiful but while one is kind and diligent the other is wicked and mean. It looks strange, but that's because brothers Grimm in their stories use beauty in two different ways. In case of Snow-white (as with most Grimms' princesses and the like) beauty stands as the physical representation of inner qualities, while her step-mother's appearance doesn't have that subtext. Hers is an example of corruption of the mind which comes with prevalence of the physical, which in turn arises from flattery and concentrating on the visual (both symbolized by the mirror). That is also the reason why the queen isn't more beautiful than Snow-white, for, as the story teaches us, real beauty comes from within. It is important to remember that the tales come from an oral tradition, and the physical beauty could be imagined by every listener for himself while everyone knew what industriousness, loyalty and honesty are. However, in time people grew more and more visual and eventually appearance became the main criterion for nearly everything. It changed the way things are perceived so much that we lost sight of what is really important. Fortunately we still have Grimms' tales.

  • Laura Peters
    2019-03-05 00:57

    Once upon a time I believed in fairy tales, and I thought I understood them. Reading Children's and Household Tales taught me that I hadn't understood anything at all, and I'm not sure what to believe any more. Happy endings aren't any more certain in fairy tales than in real life. The greedy hen chokes to death, and everyone else dies too. The partnership between the cat and the mouse is fraught with deceit and ends in murder. Faithful John is unable to influence the new king to heed the old king's warning. The wonderful musician uses his music to torture animals. Even in the stories where the ending is happy, I find I have plenty of misgivings about continuing happiness in a world where morality is incomprehensible. What would it mean to be the child of a mother that promised you away before birth in order to save her own life from a father who threatened her with death to satisfy his avarice? The sparrow might fly over the hills and away, but it's only after a trail of thievery followed by death.If hearing fairy tales is supposed to teach a child caution, I've learned the lesson.Sometimes in the forest, a ring of mushrooms grows in an almost magical circle. Ancient superstitions say that if you step inside this ring, you'll be swept away to Faerie Land. People say: "Don't step in the fairy ring!" I've never heeded that warning. I've stepped in every Faerie Ring I've ever found. Sometimes I have even waited there patiently just to see if I'd be whisked away. I wanted to visit Faerie. I wondered what could be more wonderful than Faerie Land? Why would the ancients try to warn us away? Now, after reading the Grimm reality of early fairy tales, I'll be much more cautious."How foolish I was!" That is what I learned from The Brothers Grimm. (I originally wrote this review for a coursera course essay, and now that the assignment has been peer reviewed, I'm posting the essay here. I'm getting double-duty for my 318 words.)

  • Marco Guarda
    2019-02-27 02:55

    I fell in love with this story. I think it's one of the few in the collection where the character feels real, with all her down-to-earth quirks and desires and her own practical reasoning and a very imaginative mind she uses to successfully solve her own problems. She feels real and I was able to identify and to root for her.I didn't care if Clever Grethel was lying both to her master and to his guest—they are, in fact, the "victims" of the story, they are the ones who have been defrauded of the two fowls —but all her thinking and the creative ways she answers her own questioning is just amazing.Her personal assessments regarding real problems as hunger and / or thirst is an excellent example of first-class reasoning (it only works for her, that's true, but isn't that what our brain is made for, primarily—to help us survive?)Clever Grethel with her wit, her volcanic imagination and the way her eyes see the cooking fowls is both refreshing, hilarious and entertaining—her idea of telling the guest that her master wants to cut off his ears and eat them is pure, bloodcurdling, evil genius and goes a long way in showing Grethel's deep knowledge of human nature and its primeval fears. Not to forget it's Grethel who accomplishes about 95% of all the tasks in the story, from catching the fowls, to plucking them, to actually cooking them as only a masterful chef can do (my mouth's still watering at the thought of the melting butter on the browning fowls)—so, why shouldn't she eat them as well? In fact, that's exactly what she does.Clever Grethel is a worth cousin from of old of Charles Dodgson's Alice and a clear example of how the "reversed logic" device applies to a story, a device we're going to find recursively in the latter (more on this later on.)Way to go, Clever Grethel !!!