Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm (Dover Children's Classics)

by Brothers Grimm

Paperback, 1963

Status

Available

Local notes

398.2 Gri

Barcode

3785

Publication

Dover Publications (1963), Paperback, 304 pages

Description

Juvenile Fiction. Short Stories. Folklore. HTML: The primal beating heart at the center of much of the Western literary canon can be found in the folk stories, myths, and fairy tales collected by the amateur folklorists Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm. Surprisingly graphic in comparison to their sanitized twentieth-century retellings, these intense tales are not for the faint at heart. A must-read for any fan of folklore..

Physical description

304 p.; 8.32 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member The_Hibernator
This is a short, illustrated collection of Grimm’s folktales. All of the most famous of Grimm’s tales are in there, without too many of the redundant same-story-but-slightly-different tales that you’ll inevitably come across in a longer collection. The illustrations are enjoyable. The
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translation has a few small errors (apparently), but overall I think it’s a good place to start with the Grimm brothers.
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LibraryThing member Britt84
I'm a great fan of fairy tales, so I can't say anything else but that I loved this collection. The Grimm brothers are of course masters of the genre; the nice illustrations in this editions complement the stories very well.
One thing that is somewhat weird is that some tales are translated slightly
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differently.
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LibraryThing member gbsallery
These tales are similar in structure and tone to Aesop's fables, but are emphatically lacking in an explicit moral. If they seek to instil a lesson in the reader, it is this: the world is cruel, fate is capricious and causality is incomprehensible. These themes are repeated time and again,
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illustrated by abrupt death, the sadism of step-mothers in general and the obscure chains of reasoning which hold the plots together. Indeed, many of the stories are exercises in non-sequitur; it is as if the authors want to train the reader not to seek reasons for things, simply to compliantly accept whatever fate throws their way.

The simplicity of the language also reinforces this impression that questions are not welcome - everything is explained as if to a young child, with magical transformations and wanton cruelty presented in a matter-of-fact voice which serves to suggest the normal and unexceptional nature of events. Inconsistencies are glossed over, and bald assertions abound - these are not philosophical works, yet they do suggest a philosophy of fatalism.

Household Tales, then, is a compendium of folk tales put together with the apparent intention of teaching children not to question, not to seek answers and to meekly accept whatever happens to them. Through modern eyes, this comes across a being almost a toolkit for extinguishing the spark of individuality - and yet, at the core of the stories (particularly the more grotesque and macabre offerings) there is a spark of the magical. They may not have been written with a view to encouraging curiosity, self-reliance or trust, but the seeds they plant have flowered into a rich tree of fantastical literature. This alone assures their place in the history of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
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LibraryThing member TiffanyAK
I actually read the original publication of this translation, from the 1800's, online, but this does seem to be a virtually exact reprint of the original. The illustrations are absolutely brilliant in the way in which they compliment the stories, and the translations are true to the original spirit
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of the tales. These aren't the Disney stories. Like all works in translation, the translator has a lot of power and responsibility for balancing the original language and spirit of a work with making a readable translation. Lucy Crane handled that job quite well here. If you can't read the original German, but do want to read the tales as they were intended to be, then this translation may just be the best option you have. But, be warned, what you've heard about the darkness of the originals is very true, and these stories are not for young children.
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LibraryThing member Sylak
This is no less than a treasury of European folk tales collected by the Grimm brothers during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and preserving for all time such classics as: Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White and the seven dwarfs and Cinderella - to name but the most commercially known of the
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lot. However, it is remarkable once you start to read the remaining forty four tales, just how many seem to be ingrained into our culture that throughout our childhoods we must surely have been exposed to almost every one of them at least once.
A word of warning I feel is needed; one should not look too deeply for hidden meanings or morals in every one of them; that, would surely lead to madness or worse - some form of misplaced snobbery suited to pseudo-scholars with nothing better to do with their lives but to philosophise over some message which quite frankly I do not believe was ever present. Instead I'd choose to appreciate them for what they are, which to my mind is beautifully naïve and whimsical stories such as the likes you sometimes chance upon hearing children tell one another, unpretentious and without shame. For that they are truly magical and draw you into a familiar child like universe which you'd thought lost to you long ago perhaps. They can stir up memories and in some cases open the floodgate which release the imagination and free the mind from the many constraints that a rational adult state sometimes puts you in. All you have to do is let yourself be absorbed by the book.
Sometimes when a computer begins to lag or stop working you need to perform a re-boot. This book was like a re-boot for my imagination.
The copy I have reviewed here was illustrated by Mervyn Peake (of 'Gormenghast' fame), and his pen and ink sketches work very well indeed to enhance the stories. There is also a fairly lengthy introduction by Russell Hoban (of 'Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas') which was interesting to read also.
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LibraryThing member marcoguarda
I fell in love with this story. I think it's one of the few in the collection where the character feels real, with all her down-to-earth quirks and desires and her own practical reasoning and a very imaginative mind she uses to successfully solve her own problems. She feels real and I was able to
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identify and to root for her.

I didn't care if Clever Grethel was lying both to her master and to his guest—they are, in fact, the "victims" of the story, they are the ones who have been defrauded of the two fowls —but all her thinking and the creative ways she answers her own questioning is just amazing.

Her personal assessments regarding real problems as hunger and / or thirst is an excellent example of first-class reasoning (it only works for her, that's true, but isn't that what our brain is made for, primarily—to help us survive?)

Clever Grethel with her wit, her volcanic imagination and the way her eyes see the cooking fowls is both refreshing, hilarious and entertaining—her idea of telling the guest that her master wants to cut off his ears and eat them is pure, bloodcurdling, evil genius and goes a long way in showing Grethel's deep knowledge of human nature and its primeval fears. Not to forget it's Grethel who accomplishes about 95% of all the tasks in the story, from catching the fowls, to plucking them, to actually cooking them as only a masterful chef can do (my mouth's still watering at the thought of the melting butter on the browning fowls)—so, why shouldn't she eat them as well? In fact, that's exactly what she does.

Clever Grethel is a worth cousin from of old of Charles Dodgson's Alice and a clear example of how the "reversed logic" device applies to a story, a device we're going to find recursively in the latter (more on this later on.)

Way to go, Clever Grethel !!!
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LibraryThing member srearley
I'm not going to give this a star rating because...I just can't. I'll be honest: I did not end up reading this cover to cover. It was too painful. Dipping in and reading one or two at a time would be one thing, reading them for research to set the stage for retellings...I could handle that, but
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reading straight through proved to be impossible for me.

I think part of it was knowing that there was so much symbolism involved that I *couldn't* just enjoy the stories. Everything stands for something else (and half the time I totally miss that the story was really about something else...) and even though I enjoy fantasy, the fantastical elements were so bizarre that I just kept going "WHAT???" ( A mouse, a bird and a SAUSAGE live together in one of the stories.)

So many of them are very similar, as well, so it was hard to keep straight. I'll admit that several made me laugh (especially the one where Hans kept trading DOWN, a hunk for gold --> horse --> cow --> goat --> etc, until he was left with nothing, and was quite happy with himself).

People complain about how the Disney-fication of fairy tales and I don't think that what they did is any different even than what the Grimm Brothers or Perraulat or Andersen did for fairy tales -- they took existing stories that have been around for ages and updated them for a modern audience. I, for one, am fine with the Disney versions, or even the recent crop of retellings and reimaginings that are all the rage these days.
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LibraryThing member aoibhealfae

I am one of those people who kept buying classics all over and over because its cheap. But Grimms are some of the books that are hard to find in original non-children-appropriated form, for a good reason actually. I do see people still think folklore are for children. Weirdly enough, Household
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Stories is one of those things that you should avoid giving younger children to read.

Here's the reality of what people see in children fiction, they see the sanitized version of it. Most of this book is very adult in nature which can be conveniently placed in Young Adult genre of the day. Death, violence, sex, cannibalism, pedophilia, incest, infanticide... all are inherently in these stories and these are not the full volumes of the stories that the Grimms have collected,

These stories aren't meant for children, they are really meant for people to scare children.

Fear is useful to create submissiveness which are still apparent in the old days. The history that gave birth to these stories doesn't lie about how different the dark age was. If you are able to read in the original book that was untranslated, it could get even more gory. Fortunately I like dark literature and it does get interesting when you interpreted the story in certain light.

There are a lot of redemptive quality in the story -as in some twisted way- the stories does have morality in it. Loyal, noble, love, family, godliness. It a way that we could interpret it, it wasn't much difference with most religions themselves which support the local believe by telling stories like this. But, as usual, "history became legend and legend became myth" things. According to Grimms, the stories have story variation by region, which made the story in its core, as organic and mysterious as they would seem to be.

But if you are hoping to find a book for young children because it have Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Snow White in it... please wait until they're older to know that these girls are actually barely in primary school when they have their family or someone trying to kill them. These stories are the even more darker version of ABC's "Once Upon A Time" and NBC's "Grimm", if you can't handle the show, don't give your kids these books. But even then, I don't think kids could understand it even.
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LibraryThing member aoibhealfae

I am one of those people who kept buying classics all over and over because its cheap. But Grimms are some of the books that are hard to find in original non-children-appropriated form, for a good reason actually. I do see people still think folklore are for children. Weirdly enough, Household
Show More
Stories is one of those things that you should avoid giving younger children to read.

Here's the reality of what people see in children fiction, they see the sanitized version of it. Most of this book is very adult in nature which can be conveniently placed in Young Adult genre of the day. Death, violence, sex, cannibalism, pedophilia, incest, infanticide... all are inherently in these stories and these are not the full volumes of the stories that the Grimms have collected,

These stories aren't meant for children, they are really meant for people to scare children.

Fear is useful to create submissiveness which are still apparent in the old days. The history that gave birth to these stories doesn't lie about how different the dark age was. If you are able to read in the original book that was untranslated, it could get even more gory. Fortunately I like dark literature and it does get interesting when you interpreted the story in certain light.

There are a lot of redemptive quality in the story -as in some twisted way- the stories does have morality in it. Loyal, noble, love, family, godliness. It a way that we could interpret it, it wasn't much difference with most religions themselves which support the local believe by telling stories like this. But, as usual, "history became legend and legend became myth" things. According to Grimms, the stories have story variation by region, which made the story in its core, as organic and mysterious as they would seem to be.

But if you are hoping to find a book for young children because it have Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Snow White in it... please wait until they're older to know that these girls are actually barely in primary school when they have their family or someone trying to kill them. These stories are the even more darker version of ABC's "Once Upon A Time" and NBC's "Grimm", if you can't handle the show, don't give your kids these books. But even then, I don't think kids could understand it even.
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LibraryThing member juliemarie27
I was ecstatic when I found this book in my late teens. The Grimm tales are familiar yet completely different from the watered down Disney versions I grew up with. Being a sucker for happy endings and medieval romance, I was shocked by the graphic horrors that awaited my beloved fantastic
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creatures. Even so, due to their nature the stories and morals have stuck with me into my twenties. I love this collection; the stories and the illustrations make this item a treasure!
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LibraryThing member stuart10er
Glad I read it. Stories are even odder than I was expecting. Not something that I would care to read on my own.
LibraryThing member Sopoforic
(I read this for Coursera's SF&F class, taught by Prof. Eric S. Rabkin.)

These were pretty interesting, in general. Some of the stories were dull, some were fun, some were odd, some were familiar, and some were new to me--quite a mixed bag. I'm glad I read them, though.

I enjoyed most stories like
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"Six Soldiers of Fortune" and "The Gallant Tailor", where the protagonist wins his fortune through cleverness and guile. It was fun, too, to read stories I was already familiar with, in these versions, such as the aforementioned "The Gallant Tailor", or "Aschenputtel", or "Little Red Cap".

We were to write an essay on this for the class, and I wrote about gender roles in the stories--in particular, that ambition is rewarded in men but punished in women.

In all, I think this was a great way to start a class on science fiction and fantasy, and well worth reading for anyone interested in fairy tales.
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LibraryThing member TheDivineOomba
Ah yes - a book of fairytales, with pictures! Some stories are excellent, others, only indifferent. But, these are not Disney stories. The people in this book are sometimes bullies or thiefs or princesses or princesses. Highly recommended for any lover of fairy-tales.
LibraryThing member deckla
This is the best edition on Project Gutenberg, because it has the Crane illustrations. It may be pilfered from Dover, but it is in the public domain after all. I'm not quite sure how Dover does what it does.
LibraryThing member pandr65
Being a review of one odd and several interesting experiences while gathering and comparing editions of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
First, they are not fairy tales. Yes, they have talking animals, magic, witches, tiny people, giants, etc., but they have not one single honest-to-Lauma fairy,
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fairie, or fae in any of the stories. The Brothers called them "Household Stories", and "Tales for Young and Old", not "Fairy" stories. This edition labels the spine "Grimms' Popular Tales", and the title page, "Grimm's Fairy Tales". Why? I won't go into detail, but it's because English translators wanted stories for children, and what could be more childish then cute buzzy peoplebugs? Hence, "fairy tales". The Grimm stories are grim and unDisneyfied--slicing, drownings, beheadings, burnings, burstings, eatings; thought should be taken before reading some of the original stories to young children without explanation.
The odd experience was when I was comparing this, my 1891 edition from the New York Worthington Co. (translated by Lucy Crane, illustrated by Walter Crane) to my Dover unabridged reprint of the 1886 Macmillan and Company original edition (translated by Lucy Crane, illustrated by Walter Crane). The first thing you notice is the title page; in the original, it is "Household Stories from the collections of the Brothers Grimm", set in a charming house drawing by Walter Crane, but the 1891 edition has the words "Grimms' Fairy Tales" with no drawing. At least the stories, from page 1, "The Rabbit's Bride", to page 269, ending "The Golden Goose", are the same. Same words, same spacings, same drawings. Um. Except....
What? This is weird. Pages 40 and 41 in the 1886 edition are "The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats" Pages 40 and 41 in the 1891 edition are "The Wolf and the Seven Goslings." Same words, same spacing, except in 1891, the words "goose", "goslings", and "geese" replace "goat" and "kids". The 1891 edition still has the mother goose "bleating" goodbye. The lead picture changes from a goat to goose and goslings, and the endcap picture changes from a goat and kids to a goose and goslings. They appear to both be in the drawing style of Walter Crane.
Let's check some other editions. "Grimm's Fairy Tales" from Grosset & Dunlap, maybe 1900?, translated by Mrs E. V. Lucas, Lucy Crane, and Marian Edwardes [did Lucy have a say in this alteration of her edition?]: "The Wolf and the Seven Kids". Huh. "The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Third Edition", from Bantam, 2003, translated by Jack Zipes: "The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids". "Grimms' Tales for Young and Old, The Complete Stories", from Anchor Books, 1983, translated by Ralph Manheim: 210 stories, no "Wolf and Seven of Some Creature". Complete Stories may not be the correct title. The only other place I find geese is "Grimm's Fairy Tales" from Avenel Books, 1973, which has selected stories from the Lucy Crane editions: it has "The Wolf and the Seven Goslings" (1891 edition), but it also has the 1886 title page with the Walter Crane drawing.
So, this very odd change, with apparent contrivance of the Cranes, is a mystery that can only be solved by a deep dive into Grimmland, for which I currently do not have the time. Maybe next decade....
Meanwhile, let's compare some translations. I will use the first sentence from the same story:
1-3. The Frog Prince: In the old times, when it was still of some use to wish for the thing one wanted, there lived a King whose daughters were all handsome, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun himself, who has seen so much, wondered each time he shone over her because of her beauty. (all 3 of the Lucy Crane books mentioned above: 1886, 1891, maybe 1900).
4. The Frog Prince: In the old times, when people could have all they wished for at once, lived a king who had many beautiful daughters; but the youngest was so lovely that the sun himself would wonder whenever he shone on her face. (Grimm's Fairy Tales, Arcadia House, 1950, no translator listed).
5. The Frog-King, or Iron Henry: In old times, when wishing still helped one, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen so much, was astonished whenever it shone in her face. (Folk-Lore and Fable, Harvard Classics, 1909, no translator listed).
6. The Frog-King or Iron Heinrich: In olden times, when wishing still helped, there lived a king, whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that even the sun, who had seen many things, was filled with wonder every time he shone upon her face. (Grimms' Tales for Young and Old, The Complete Stories, from Anchor Books, 1983, translated by Ralph Manheim).
7. The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich: In olden times, when wishing still helped, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which had seen so many things, was always filled with amazement each time it cast its rays upon her face. (The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Third Edition, from Bantam, 2003, translated by Jack Zipes).
It is interesting to compare the small changes, from whether the sun is a male to the change from "handsome" to "beautiful". Fun to do with all stories.
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Pages

304

Rating

½ (100 ratings; 3.8)
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