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Linguists, philologists, and restorers of ancient texts, the Brothers Grimm practically invented the science of folklore with the publication of Kinder-und Hausmarchen (1812-1815), which became popularly known as Grimm's Fairy Tales. Comprising 120 of their best-loved tales, this new Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales includes criticism, reception, discussion questions, and legacies, to appeal to readers of all ages.
In "Rumpelstiltskin" a miller's careless boast that his clever daughter can "spin gold from straw" is forced by the king to make good on this claim. A little man arrives to help the miller's daughter in exchange for her firstborn child. When the daughter, who by now is the queen, gives birth to a child, the little man comes to collect. He agrees to release the queen from her promise if she can learn the imp's name. According to researchers at Durham...
In Hansel and Gretel, a famine has settled over the land. The children of a poor woodcutter are abandoned in the woods by their cruel stepmother who believes she and her husband will starve as a result of providing for the children. Days of wandering lead them to a beautiful cottage made of gingerbread and candy, which the children begin to eat. Lured inside by an old woman who promises hot baths, soft beds and more delicious food, the children are...
In The Elves and the Shoemaker a poor shoemaker prepares his last piece of leather to work on before turning in for bed. In the morning, he is amazed to find the shoes already made. Selling these to a grateful customer, his financial obligations are met and he is able to buy more leather for two more pairs. When these are completed overnight in a similar fashion he stays awake to solve the mystery. Learning that a team of naked elves are responsible...