THE COMPLETE FIRST EDITION: THE ORIGINAL FOLK AND FAIRY TALES OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM by . BROTHERS GRIMM (Translated by JACK ZIPES with illustrations by ANDREA DEZSO)
INNER FRONT COVER BLURB: When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their Children's and Household Tales in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as "Rapunzel," "Hansel and Gretel," and "Cinderella" would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style. For the very first time, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm makes available in English all 156 stories from the 1812 and 1815 editions. These narrative gems, newly translated and brought together in one beautiful book, are accompanied by sumptuous new illustrations from award-winning artist Andrea Dezso.
From "The Frog King" to "The Golden Key," wondrous worlds unfold--heroes and heroines are rewarded, weaker animals triumph over the strong, and simple bumpkins prove themselves not so simple after all. Esteemed fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes offers accessible translations that retain the spare description and engaging storytelling style of the originals. Indeed, this is what makes the tales from the 1812 and 1815 editions unique--they reflect diverse voices, rooted in oral traditions, that are absent from the Grimms' later, more embellished collections of tales. Zipes's introduction gives important historical context, and the book includes the Grimms' prefaces and notes. A delight to read, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm presents these peerless stories to a whole new generation of readers.
ONE OF MY FAVOURITE STORIES: The Stolen Pennies. (Whilst not an exact word for word version as the one featured in this book, the version featured here is a near enough translation. TT)
SOURCE: A present from Mr T.
MY THOUGHTS: Phew! So much darker than the versions I can remember being read/told as a child. As the translator warns us in his excellent introduction these most certainly are not bed time stories for little ones.
As far as I'm concerned both a hit and miss.
Riveting to realise just how sexist, racist (in particular antisemitic) and generally 'politically incorrect' the original tales were. Fascinating to note how the moral at the heart of the stories resonated in a way that they hadn't when I was younger. Interesting to compare and contrast them with the more sanitised versions that I came to know and love as a girl BUT ...
With lots of repetitive themes and plot lines, many of them so much so that some of the stories felt almost like carbon copies, I often felt an uneasy sense of deja vu.
For some readers perhaps a collection best enjoyed by the picking out of their favourite stories to see how they have changed over the years (Puss In Boots was a particular revelation to me). For others perhaps a collection best enjoyed for the stories they didn't know - if anything like me you'll be surprised at just how many there actually are. In hindsight, for me personally, probably a collection best read as and when rather than in one fell sweep as what I hadn't expected/had perhaps forgotten was how formulaic the characters actually could be.