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The Annotated Brothers Grimm

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  2,336 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Maria Tatar's The Annotated Brothers Grimm celebrates the powerful cultural legacy of the stories collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm —tales that have enchanted children and adults alike for generations. The volume includes over forty of the Grimms' most beloved stories, including:

Rapunzel * Hansel and Gretel * The Brave Little Tailor * Cinderella * Little Red Riding Hood
Paperback, 512 pages
Published 2004 by W.W. Norton & Co.
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JACOB and Wilhelm Grimm did not set out to entertain children, not at first. They were primarily collectors and philologists, who almost two centuries ago assembled German fairy tales as part of a life's work that included, Maria Tatar points out, ''massive volumes with such titles as 'German Legends,' 'German Grammar,' 'Ancient German Law' and 'German Heroic Legends.' '' (''Jacob Grimm's 'German Grammar' alone,'' we are told helpfully, ''took up 3,854 pages.'') They published their first collec ...more
I own a copy of this book and boy is it expensive. I think it is the most pricey book I've ever bought so far. But I'm telling you it is worth it. You will like this book. Especially if you are into fairy tales just like me.

Okay, so remember when you were a kid, remember all those fairy tale stuffs you've been told about? Tell you something-they aren't the real story. The Fairy tale books printed for kids and the Fairy tale movies filmed by Disney were all edited to fit the imagination of young
I should make it clear at the outset that I like the stories themselves. My problem is with the annotations. The annotations dealing with the social realities of the culture and the many variants of the more well-known stories are interesting, but disappointingly rare. Rather, most of the notes range from useless and unperceptive to just plain annoying. For example, part of a note on "Hansel and Gretel" helpfully informs us that:

"The 'perfect happiness' of the ending is brought about in part by
This is a lovely celebration and artistic continuation of amazing cultural phenomenon known as the " Brothers Grimm". Their tales have enchanted, enraptured and terrified children and adults alike for generations. This volume includes over forty of their well known tales including Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Briar Rose, Rumplestiltskin, and The Golden Goose.
With over 150 paintings drawings and sketches, it brings to life some of the hidden scenes that we all know and lo
What to say about the Brothers Grimm? They were there, they were kind of awesome. In fact, one of the surprises about this volume for me was the biographical portion. It was interesting to learn that Jacob and Wilhelm considered themselves scholars foremost, and their passion for folklore was part of their passion for German culture (particularly pre-Industrial culture), language (they died in the "F"s for their German dictionary, which isn't surprising when you consider the Germans have a word ...more
Stefan Yates
I have always been a huge fan of fantasy, fairy tales and folklore and this collection of tales certainly did not disappoint. I'm sure that part of my love for the Grimm's tales in particular comes from being raised by my German mother and interacting with her family in Germany. We always had several fairy tale books as children and my mother also incorporated scenes from fairy tales into several pieces of her artwork.

What made this book especially interesting to me was the analysis provided in
If you’re into fairy tales, this is the book for you! Surprisingly, this was not easy reading. I thought I could do a tale or two a night, but I found them pretty darn heavy and downright disturbing at times – and to think these were for children – and although simply written, this took me a year to get through! But, from a historical perspective, it was worth it. I would have rated this a 5 if I found the annotations more useful. I really enjoyed the “annotated” Dickens, and thought this would ...more
The Annotated Brothers Grimm edited by Maria Tatar and introduced by A.S. Byatt is the collection of the original Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Their stories were gorier than how they are told today. When the stepsisters’ feet do not fit in the shoe, they cut off their toes and heels to make them fit. The Grimm Brothers were trying to show what greed can make people do. The stepsisters wanted to marry the prince so bad that they had to result to harming themselves. This is showing that humanity ca ...more
Remy D
The Annotated Brothers Grimm is a collection or fairy tales and fictional stories. Some of these include classic fables like Hansell and Gretel and Rapunzel. This book also doesn't just tell the story or fairy tale, it explains the origin of the story, where the story started and much more information. the book is written in such a way that before the story starts you are informed with all the information you need, then you read the story and can really understand it.
Janet Eshenroder
I grew up with "Through Fairy Halls of My Bookhouse", fairy tales from around the world, told in beautiful prose. To start in on the Brothers Grimm was at first a disappointment, as the style was very simple and straightforward. Tales were short and to the point. Almost dry. I had always heard that the original tales were not meant to be children's tales. Perhaps I expected to find those original tales, rather than the set finally published as children's stories. (I ended up learning that these ...more
Chuck White
This book was an excellent trip down memory lane, having had the pleasure of growing up with the wonder of fairy tales. The powerful messages embedded in these stories continue to resonate in today's society. This collection contains over 40 classic tales and I was surprised how many I remembered, beyond the ones everyone does, like Cinderella, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood. The book also has an in depth study of the origins of fairy tales and their influence. To top it off, there is a d ...more
I actually was really impressed with this book. I haven't read a collection of the Grimm's fairytales like this before, and I'm glad I did. The annotations and alternate endings are interesting, and I adored the pictures pulled from all different source. Most of the stories I've heard before, though there were ones where they were new to me (the more bloodthirsty ones especially) and the whole book was a lot of fun. The author also added original prefaces of the Grimm brothers, an essay about th ...more
If you like the Disney fairy tales then I suggest that you read this book to see the real story that it derived from. The Disney version is watered down version and the real stories are a lot more violent but intriguing to read. Like the famous story Cinderella, The book explains the back-story to the story and references to the more well-known story and tells the true story with footnotes explaining and clarifying the phrase making you open your eyes and better understand the story. Overall, th ...more
These tales come from the third edition of Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm, in which the brothers Grimm strived to remove content they deemed inappropriate for children (any and all allusions to premarital sexual relations for example, and the turning of mothers into step-mothers to preserve the sanctity of motherhood; descriptions of the gruesome punishments faced by the stories' antagonists are left pretty much intact, questionably) whilst setting a good example by making their protagoni ...more
Aug 20, 2009 Kris rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fairy tale and folklore enthusiasts
Shelves: own
A very good collection of fairy tales. I have no complaints about the translation, but the annotations in this particular edition were sometimes a bit lacking. Frequently they focused more on the psychological symbolism of the tales than on the cultural context (the latter was what I was hoping for when I purchased this edition). There are some insightful historical notes, though, as well as some interesting supplemental material in the back, including a short biography of the Grimms and the ori ...more
Deborah Markus
This is our current bedtime read. I keep forgetting that my son is having a different childhood than I had, and that he didn't spend asthmatic afternoons stuck in bed with books. So he's not as fairy-tale literate as I was at his age. Also, he's old enough to be interested in the origin story of these stories as well as the stories themselves. So we're enjoying this collection and its introduction and footnotes.

--Just finished. This is a fine selection. The most famous tales rub shoulders with m
The edition I read was The Annotated Brothers Grimm edited by Maria Tatar. I recall having an edition of Grimms' Fairy Tales as a kid, but I don't think I got very far with it because there weren't many pictures and the type was very tiny so all the stories could fit into a smaller volume.

As an adult with a semi-scholarly bent, I found the introduction and annotations very insightful. Each tale has a brief introductory statement to set the stage for personal contemplation. Most of the tales are
Once upon a time, I read selections of The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar for a folklore course. Back then, I was impressed by her scholarship, weaving a close reading of the stories with a sociologist's approach to Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and the environment in which they collected, edited, and published the famous fairy tales.

The same scholarship backs up The Annotated Brothers Grimm, but Tatar's text here -- limited as it must be to margin notes, introduction, and afterw
This is required reading for anyone even remotely serious about fairy tales. Good for reading for pleasure--as an adult or to a child--and wonderful for scholarship. The main drawback is that it's not the complete tales, but the original editions of Kinder und Hausmarchen eventually accumulated so many stories that some started to seem like duplicates of each other, so this is a selective editing. What you really want that this edition has to offer is Maria Tatar's editing; the Harvard professor ...more
I was watching The Brothers Grimm last night and it suddenly occurred to me that maybe the problems in my head are caused by my genetics (well that is quite obvious~but my meaning is a little less obvious~i’m referring to the geographical source of my genetics being German, French and Irish and their natural tendencies to war with one another…) I was rather impressed by the movie itself, incorporating as it did, familiar fairy tales into an entirely new story (and i must admit a whole new admira ...more
Hannah Kollef
I have a few copies of the Brothers Grimm, and this one is definitely my favorite. I like the selection of tales–it's a good representation of the stories, instead of the usual books that only highlight the very famous tales, like Snow White. There is also a good representation of tales with active male and female protagonists, instead of the usual emphasis on the Grimm's weeping princesses. The scholarly essays included are also fascinating. I particularly enjoyed A.S. Byatt's introduction.

Ginny  Gallagher
I received this for my birthday in Feb. Thanks Mom! I really love all the annotations that go along with each story. They give you great insight into the culture and beliefs during the time that the fairy tales were written and where the stories might have originated from. I haven't read all the stories yet but this is one of those books that I will pull off my shelf each month for many, many years and enjoy a quick story from. Great addition to my book shelf.
Julie Snow
My kids (ages 7 and 5) and I loved this book. We didn't read all of the fairy tales, only the well-known half. Children's stories these days are so happy and delightful compared to the non-watered down versions! My kids were shocked, perplexed, and amazed by the descriptive and sometimes scary text. They entered a world that wasn't Disney and were intrigued. The stories are just the right length and sure kept their attention even without many pictures. My daughter and son asked me every day to r ...more
I picked this up because I heard an interview with the author on NPR and it sounded intriguing. The illustrations are cool and vintage-y. It's annotated with details about alternate endings or other versions from different cultures. The original stories tend to be darker than what we are familiar with (Disney, etc) and that makes it all the more interesting to me. It's a good book to jump around in, so don't be intimidated by it's size.
Two brothers aptly named collected German folk tales in the early nineteenth century. Here are the unvarnished tales many of which we only know from the sanitized Disney versions. The German tales are scary and violent. Similar tales in other countries are bawdy but not the German variant . When the allies overturned the third reich they banned these tales because of the violent cast. Thus, in Sleeping Beauty the wicked witch is given iron shoes heated in the fire and she dances to her death. Or ...more
Beautifully presented book, and the tales themselves are brilliant, as are the illustrations, but most of the annotations seem to be there for the sake of it, rather than providing the reader with more insight into the tales. Many of the annotations are Freudian interpretations, and it gets tedious reading the annotator make the same conclusions over and over again.
Nathan Dehoff
This isn’t a complete collection of the Grimms’ stories, but it includes the more famous ones, as well as some fairly obscure tales. There’s also a section called “Tales for Adults,” featuring, well, the grimmest of the Grimm, including stories about children dying and a Jew being tortured for no real reason. It’s interesting to note that the Grimms’ versions of classic fairy tales are now often considered inappropriate for children, when they were actually some of the first to try to tone the s ...more
Jordan Simmonds
I loved every moment of this book. The literature itself was great however what really sold me on this particular version of the book is the beautiful illustrations, and the insightful annotations. If you have a curious mind for why certain language and phrases have been used in these tales then this is the book that answers those questions
Devan Bennett
This is a great edition of these stories. They include illustrations from many different versions of the books, so there's alot of different artistic styles represented, from 17th century woodblock prints to Victorian romanticism. Also, they include some very dusturbing Grimms fairy tales that were censored from later editions.
November 2011 - Holy fuckballs. I checked this book out from the library, read it all the way through, and did not in any way recall having read it two years ago.

Is this what going mad feels like?


Okay, with the loving of this book!

I read some fairytales I know and love, and some I've never heard of. All of them were just different enough for me to truly enjoy them, especially since I'd never read the "original" versions before. Didn't know what actually happened to Cinderella's stepsisters a
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Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm, German philologist, jurist and mythologist, was born at Hanau, in Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel). He is best known as the discoverer of Grimm's Law, the author of the monumental German Dictionary, his Deutsche Mythologie and more popularly, with his brother Wilhelm, as one of the Brothers Grimm, as the editor of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

(From Wikipedia.)

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