Cover image for The Brothers Grimm : from enchanted forests to the modern world
The Brothers Grimm : from enchanted forests to the modern world
Zipes, Jack, 1937-
Personal Author:
First edition, [2002 edition].
Publication Information:
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
Physical Description:
xx, 331 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PD63 .Z57 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Most of the fairy tales that we grew up with we know thanks to the Brothers Grimm. Jack Zipes, one of our surest guides through the world of fairy tales and their criticism, takes behind the romantics mythology of the wandering brothers. Bringing to bear his own critical expertise, as well as new biographical information, Zipes examines the interaction between the Grimms' lives and their work. He reveals the Grimms' personal struggle to overcome social prejudice and poverty, as well as their political efforts - as scholars and civil servant - toward unifying the German states. By deftly interweaving the social, political, and personal elements of the lives of the Brothers Grimm, Zipes rescues them from sentimental obscurity. No longer figures in fairy tale, the Brothers Grimm emerge as powerful creators, real men who established the fairy tale as one of our great literary institutions. Part biography, part critical assessment, part social history, the Brothers Grimm provides a complex and very real story about fairy tales and the modern world.

Author Notes

Jack Zipes is Professor of German at the University of Minnesota

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Zipes consolidates the evidence that the Grimms gathered their tales from middle-class women rather than peasants. The tales had many European analogues, and the brothers synthesized numerous versions into their highly literary productions. They often used the tales to explore problems of family tension and social injustice as well as to reinforce bourgeois values. Both here and in his Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion (Methuen, 1985), Zipes discusses a crucial valuethat of male self-mastery. With its penetrating comments on fairy tales and psychoanalysis, the French fairy tale tradition, and fairy tale illustration, as well as its rich historical treatment of the Grimms themselves, this book belongs in all literature collections. Barbara J. Dunlap, City Coll., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2002 Editionp. ix
Preface to the 1988 Editionp. xvii
1. Once There Were Two Brothers Named Grimm: A Reintroductionp. 1
2. The Origins and Reception of the Talesp. 25
3. Exploring Historical Pathsp. 65
4. From Odysseus to Tom Thumb and Other Cunning Heroes: Speculations about the Entrepreneurial Spiritp. 91
5. The German Obsession with Fairy Talesp. 107
6. Henri Pourrat and the Tradition of Perrault and the Brothers Grimmp. 135
7. Recent Psychological Approaches with Some Questions about the Abuse of Childrenp. 153
8. Semantic Shifts of Power in Folk and Fairy Tales: Cinderella and the Consequencesp. 187
9. Fairy Tale as Myth/Myth as Fairy Tale: The Immortality of Sleeping Beauty and Storytellingp. 207
10. The Struggle for the Grimms' Throne: The Legacy of the Grimms' Tales in East and West Germany since 1945p. 231
Notesp. 271
Bibliographyp. 297
Indexp. 323