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The Annotated Brothers Grimm

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  3,404 ratings  ·  129 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
Hardcover, 462 pages
Published September 17th 2004 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 2004)
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The Annotated Alice by Lewis CarrollThe Annotated Brothers Grimm by Jacob GrimmThe Annotated Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Annotated Hans Christian Andersen by Hans Christian AndersenThe New Annotated Dracula by Bram Stoker
Annotations & The Annotated
131 books — 31 voters
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Magician's Nephew by C.S. LewisThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerWives and Daughters by Elizabeth GaskellUncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
1,210 books — 111 voters

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 ·  3,404 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Emm C²
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lit. scholars, fairytale enthusiasts, humans, demigods, sub-human monstrosities
This review and other old-school horrors at Blood Red Velvet.
Every single Grimm fairytale ever in one wrist-snappingly gigantic book. Uncut with all the original gruesomeness and mayhem intact. Too much shapeshifting and cannibalism to fit in your backpack, but makes a beautiful display treasure.

Despite the fact of it being a consistently challenged collection, it's amazing how ingrained the Grimms' fairytales have become in culture. Not just in Europe. Their influence stretches to all of the co
Aug 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: folktales, classics
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 beautiful edition, but very awkward to hold.

I have always loved fairy tales and this edition is wonderful because of the insight the editors give us into the fairy tales. Their origins. The meaning and symbolism. They can be a little gruesome, but fun in their own way. Also, the illustrations included in this edition are delightful.
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, myth-folk
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
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
These annotated classics are staples at our house. We have read most of them. These "Annotated Books" contain introductory essays, plenty of explanatory footnotes, and illustrations and stills from both older book versions and productions. The hardcover editions look great on the shelf and are robust enough for our daily readings.

Our most recent read is The Annotated Brothers Grimm. These are mostly short tales. We read maybe three at a time. It was interesting to see the morals of these storie
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
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: artworthy
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
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I have a huge, hardbound copy of this tome out from the library right now. It's beautiful, and I wish I had a coffee table to display it on.

On the downside, the book is uncomfortably large to hold and too big for the little book holder I have. I'm sitting at the dining room table to look at it. But I think the format only adds to its impressiveness.

I doubt I will ever read the whole thing. I'm just dipping into it in spots. The annotations--the history and tales behind the stories--are the mos
kaylee white the trash bag
To be honest I haven't read all of it but I read it last year and I am re-reading this is probably my favorite versions of fairy tales because, c'mon Disney, nobody is happy :) I love the gore and the realism and just everything about it is amazing!
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Mostly enjoyable fairytales, ranging from Cinderella to Little Red Riding Hood. It's amazing how the stories have been translated into well loved children's movies.

Next time I read this, and I will, I will skip the annotations and notes before each story. Both took away from the experience.
Remy D
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3rd-term-reading
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.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really great resource-driven read with excellent annotations and further readings. The formatting is easy on the eyes, and I loved the artwork inclusions too. I'm so lucky to have found this book secondhand for research purposes. My volume is all flagged and marked up, and I have no doubt I'm going to wear the spine ragged. It took me more than half a year, but I did it! It's done.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was great! Junior really enjoyed hearing these stories at bedtime. It was fascinating to read the original versions of many tales that Disney has made familiar (and changed substantially in the process!).
Apr 05, 2018 is currently reading it
I read the first edition of this years ago. Like i must have been around 12 or 13 when I read it, and it was formative to my love of folktales and mythology. I bought this bicentennial version a few years ago on whim, and hopefully I'll soon have time to actually crack the spine and read it.
C.S. Malerich
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fairy-tale
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
R.W. Kennedy
Even if one doesn’t enjoy The Lord of the Rings movies, one must admit that a great deal of hard work and dedication was put in by a considerable number of people. This lengthy volume may lack the number of contributors but the hard work shows here as well.

Some dude at the library was hogging the online catalog kiosk and the other two were down so I asked this old foreign library where I could find something by the Brothers Grimm. Perhaps, she was Germanic because she seemed rather pleased that
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: form-ii
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
Janet Eshenroder
Jun 19, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Jan 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
This reading is full of wonder. Maria Tatar's translated, edited, and annotated version of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm has been done to excellent effect. The annotations help unpack the layers underneath & atop these fairy tales. The variety of illustrations that Tatar has selected adds to the wonders to behold. The introduction by A.S. Byatt is expansively informative. The appendices offer wonderful boons as well: with a few original intros/prefaces by the Grimms as well as a biographical ...more
Deborah Markus
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Hannah Kollef
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.

Julie Snow
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Nathan Dehoff
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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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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