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Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm (1786–1859) Grimm are best known together as the Brothers Grimm. They were academics, lecturers, editors, folklorists, and collectors, as well as writers. The Grimm brothers gained the most recognition as the literary duo that gathered German folk and fairy tales primarily from the oral tradition and presented them as printed literature. This served to protect the tales from dying out, but it also ended up changing them in the process. They are still considered one of the most important sources for fairy tales and part of the children’s literature canon. This entry examines the Grimm brothers’ early lives and development, key publications, and legacy.

Early Life

Jacob and Wilhelm were the eldest sons of a lawyer in Hanau, Germany. After both parents’ deaths, ...

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