The Brothers Grimm stories were restored to their original, and uncut, glory. Although the German brothers are known for inventing the fairy tale, much of their original work was lost in translation. Their original collection, published in 1812, was titled Children’s and Household Tales. Although the title contained the word “children,” the folklore collection was notoriously frightening and gory.
As the collection continued to gain popularity, each new edition was revised to become “more and more child-friendly.” Over the next 40 years, the Brothers Grimm removed numerous stories — which were deemed inappropriate for children.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the removed stories include “How The Children Played at Slaughtering” and “Children of the Famine.” Both stories contained scenes in which children were either killed or threatened with death. In “Children of the Famine,” the mother “threatens to kill her daughters,” as a source of food.
The remaining tales were edited to remove the more frightening scenes and add a few happy endings.
Although the original collections were available, they were never translated into English. Intrigued with the original collection, University of Minnesota professor Jack Zipes translated all 158 stories and published the results as The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition.
Although the book contains popular fairy tales, including “Cinderella” and “Rapunzel,” the stories are not for the faint of heart. The brothers Grimm stories were restored to include many disturbing details.
In the popular version of “Cinderella,” the evil step-sisters are sorely disappointed when their feet are simply too large for the glass slipper. In the original version, the step-mother devises a grisly plan to make the slipper fit. She provides her daughters with a knife and advises them to cut their feet to fit inside the slipper.
“Here’s a knife… If the slipper is still too tight for you, then cut off a piece of your foot. It will hurt a bit. But what does that matter?”
The step-sisters proceeded to follow their mother’s advice. Although the slipper did fit, the prince eventually realized that he was tricked. Cinderella’s step-sisters failed to account for the blood, which was dripping out of the shoe.
Meanwhile, Rapunzel was having quite the “merry time” with the handsome prince. In the modern version of the fairy tale, Rapunzel is held captive in tall tower. Thankfully, her hair has grown long enough to provide the prince with a makeshift rope ladder.
In the brothers Grimm restored version, we learn that Rapunzel and the handsome prince were doing far more than conversing. In the original story, Rapunzel becomes pregnant with the prince’s child — therefore revealing her transgression.
As reported by the Guardian, evil step-mothers are a common theme throughout the revised brothers Grimm collection. However, the original works tell a different story. In many stories, including “Hansel and Gretel” and “Snow White,” it was the mother, not the step-mother, who was evil.
In the popular version, Snow White’s step-mother asks the huntsman to kill the young woman and provide her heart as proof of her death. Although the passage is quite disturbing, the brothers Grimm restored version is far worse. In the original story, Snow White’s mother orders the huntsman to kill her daughter and preserve her liver and lungs she plans to “cook them with salt” and eat them.
Zipes admits that the brothers Grimm restored collection is disturbing. However, he said “the tales can be enjoyed by both adults and children.” He further explains that “it is time for parents and publishers to stop dumbing down the Grimms’ tales… ”
[Image via ThePlace2]