QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2005-01 > 1104880176
Subject: Excerpt Of History
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 18:09:36 EST
1785 Jacob Grimm is born
On this day, the older of the two Grimm brothers, Jacob, is born in Hanau,
Germany. His brother Wilhelm is born the following year.
As young men, the two brothers assisted some friends with research for an
important collection of folk lyrics. One of the authors, impressed by the
brothers' work, suggested they publish some of the oral folktales they'd
collected. The collection appeared as Children's and Household Tales, later known as
Grimm's Fairy Tales, in several volumes between 1812 and 1822.
Tales in the Grimm brothers' collection include "Hansel and Gretel," "Snow
White," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Sleeping Beauty," "Rapunzel," and
"Rumpelstiltskin." The brothers developed the tales by listening to storytellers and
attempting to reproduce their words and techniques as faithfully as possible.
Their methods helped establish the scientific approach to the documentation
of folklore. The collection became a worldwide classic.
Jacob continued researching stories and language, and published an
influential book of German grammar. He also did important work in language study and
developed a principle, called Grimm's Law, regarding the relation of languages
to each other. In 1829, Jacob and Wilhelm became librarians and professors
at the University of Gottingen, and Jacob published another important work,
German Mythologies, exploring the beliefs of pre-Christian Germans. In 1840,
King Frederick William IV of Prussia invited the brothers to Berlin, where they
became members of the Royal Academy of Science. They began work on an
enormous dictionary, but Wilhelm died in 1859, before entries for the letter D were
completed. Jacob followed four years later, having only gotten as far as F.
Subsequent researchers finished the dictionary many years later.