Wilhelm Grimm

Wilhelm Carl Grimm (also Karl;[a] 24 February 1786 – 16 December 1859) was a German author and anthropologist, and the younger brother of Jacob Grimm, of the library duo the Brothers Grimm.

Wilhelm Grimm
Wilhelm Grimm
Wilhelm Grimm
BornWilhelm Carl Grimm
24 February 1786
Hanau, Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel in the Holy Roman Empire
Died16 December 1859 (aged 73)
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia in the German Confederation
Alma materUniversity of Marburg

Life and work

Wilhelm was born in Hanau, in Hesse-Kassel. In 1803, he started studying law at the University of Marburg, one year after his brother Jacob started there. The two brothers spent their entire lives close together. In their school days, they had one bed and one table in common; as students, they had two beds and two tables in the same room. They always lived under one roof and had their books and property in common.[5]

Grimms' tomb in Berlin

In 1825, 39-year-old Wilhelm married pharmacist's daughter Henriette Dorothea Wild, also known as Dortchen. Wilhelm's marriage did not change the harmony of the brothers.[5] Richard Cleasby visited the brothers and observed, “they both live in the same house, and in such harmony and community that one might almost imagine the children were common property.”[5][6] Wilhelm and Henriette had four children together: Jacob (3 April 1826 – 15 December 1826), Herman Friedrich (6 January 1828 – 16 June 1901), Rudolf Georg (31 March 1830 – 13 November 1889), and Barbara Auguste Luise Pauline Marie (21 August 1832 – 9 February 1919).

Wilhelm's character was a complete contrast to that of his brother. As a boy, he was strong and healthy, but while growing up he suffered a long and severe illness which left him weak the rest of his life. He had a less comprehensive and energetic mind than his brother, and he had less of the spirit of investigation, preferring to confine himself to some limited and definitely bounded field of work. He utilized everything that bore directly on his own studies and ignored the rest. These studies were almost always of a literary nature.[5]

Wilhelm took great delight in music, for which his brother had but a moderate liking, and he had a remarkable gift of story-telling. Cleasby relates that “Wilhelm read a sort of farce written in the Frankfort dialect, depicting the ‘malheurs’ of a rich Frankfort tradesman on a holiday jaunt on Sunday. It was very droll, and he read it admirably.” Cleasby describes him as “an uncommonly animated, jovial fellow.” He was, accordingly, much sought in society, which he frequented much more than his brother.[5]

A collection of fairy tales was first published in 1812 by the Grimm brothers, known in English as Grimms' Fairy Tales.

From 1837-1841, the Grimm brothers joined five of their colleague professors at the University of Göttingen to form a group known as the Göttinger Sieben (The Göttingen Seven). They protested against Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover, whom they accused of violating the constitution. All seven were fired by the king.

Wilhelm Grimm died in Berlin of an infection at the age of 73.


  1. ^ The Neue Deutsche Biographie records their names as "Grimm, Jacob Ludwig Carl"[1] and "Grimm, Wilhelm Carl".[2] The Deutsches Biographisches Archiv records Wilhelm's name as "Grimm, Wilhelm Karl".[2] The Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie gives the names as "Grimm: Jacob (Ludwig Karl)"[3] and "Grimm: Wilhelm (Karl)".[4] The National Union Catalog Pre-1956 Imprints also gives Wilhelm's name as "Grimm, Wilhelm Karl".[2]


  1. ^ Deutsche National Bibliothek, citing Neue Deutsche Biographie.
  2. ^ a b c Deutsche National Bibliothek, citing Neue Deutsche Biographie, Deutsches Biographisches Archiv and The National Union Catalog Pre-1956 Imprints.
  3. ^ Wilhelm Scherer (1879), "Grimm, Jacob (Ludwig Karl)", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 9, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 678–688
  4. ^ Wilhelm Scherer (1879), "Grimm, Wilhelm (Karl)", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 9, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 690–695
  5. ^ a b c d e Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Grimm, Wilhelm Carl" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  6. ^ “Life of Cleasby,” prefixed to his Icelandic Dictionary, p. lxix.

External links

Alter St.-Matthäus-Kirchhof

Alter St.-Matthäus-Kirchhof (Alter Sankt-Matthäus-Kirchhof or Old St. Matthew's Churchyard) is a cemetery in Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany. It was established in 1856 by the Protestant parish of St. Matthew. It is known for its interment of the Brothers Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, folklore tellers of "Cinderella" ("Aschenputtel"), "The Frog Prince" ("Der Froschkönig"), "Hansel and Gretel" ("Hänsel und Gretel"), "Rapunzel", "Rumpelstiltskin" ("Rumpelstilzchen"), and "Snow White" ("Schneewittchen"); Rudolf Virchow, variously known as "father of modern pathology", "father of modern medicine" or "father of social medicine"; and Claus von Stauffenberg, a German Army officer who almost assassinated Adolf Hitler. As for Staufenberg, his corpse was exhumed by the SS on 22 July 1944, the day after his burial, and cremated to remove any traces of him. His tombstone, however, remains intact.

Brothers Grimm

The Brothers Grimm (die Brüder Grimm or die Gebrüder Grimm), Jacob and Wilhelm, were German academics, philologists, cultural researchers, lexicographers and authors who together collected and published folklore during the 19th century. They were among the first and best-known collectors of folk tales, and popularized traditional oral tale types such as "Cinderella" ("Aschenputtel"), "The Frog Prince" ("Der Froschkönig"), "The Goose-Girl" ("Die Gänsemagd"), "Hansel and Gretel" ("Hänsel und Gretel"), "Rapunzel", "Rumpelstiltskin" ("Rumpelstilzchen"), "Sleeping Beauty" ("Dornröschen"), and "Snow White" ("Schneewittchen"). Their classic collection Children's and Household Tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen), was published in two volumes, in 1812 and in 1815.

The brothers were born in the town of Hanau in Hesse-Cassel (now Germany) and spent most of their childhood in the nearby town of Steinau. Their father's death in 1796 impoverished the family and affected the brothers for many years after. They attended the University of Marburg where they began a lifelong dedication to researching the early history of German language and literature, including German folktales. The rise of Romanticism during the 18th century had revived interest in traditional folk stories, which to the Grimms and their colleagues represented a pure form of national literature and culture. The Brothers Grimm established a methodology for collecting and recording folk stories that became the basis for folklore studies. Between the first edition of 1812-15, and the seventh and final edition of 1857, they revised their collection many times, so that it grew from 156 stories to more than 200. In addition to collecting and editing folk tales, the brothers compiled German legends. Individually, they published a large body of linguistic and literary scholarship. Together, in 1838 they began work on a massive historical German dictionary (Deutsches Wörterbuch), which, in their lifetimes, they completed only as far as the word Frucht, 'fruit'.

Many of Grimms' folk tales have enjoyed enduring popularity. The tales are available in more than 100 languages and have been adapted by filmmakers including Lotte Reiniger and Walt Disney, with films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty. During the 1930s and 40s, the tales were used as propaganda by the Third Reich; later in the 20th century psychologists such as Bruno Bettelheim reaffirmed the value of the work, in spite of the cruelty and violence in original versions of some of the tales, which the Grimms eventually sanitized.

Cinderella (1955 film)

Cinderella (German:Aschenputtel) is a 1955 West German family film directed by Fritz Genschow and starring Rita-Maria Nowotny, Renée Stobrawa and Werner Stock.

Deutsches Wörterbuch

The Deutsches Wörterbuch (German: [ˌdɔʏtʃəs ˈvœɐ̯tɐbuːx]; "The German Dictionary"), abbreviated DWB, is the largest and most comprehensive dictionary of the German language in existence. Encompassing modern High German vocabulary in use since 1450, it also includes loanwords adopted from other languages into German. Entries cover the etymology, meanings, attested forms, synonyms, usage peculiarities, and regional differences of words found throughout the German speaking world. The dictionary's historical linguistics approach, illuminated by examples from primary source documents, makes it to German what the Oxford English Dictionary is to English. The first completed DWB lists over 330,000 headwords in 67,000 print columns spanning 32 volumes.The Deutsches Wörterbuch was begun by the Brothers Grimm in 1838 and the initial volumes were published in 1854. Unfinished at the time of their deaths, the dictionary was finally completed by a succession of later scholars and institutions in 1961. In 1971, a 33rd supplement volume was published containing 25,000 additional entries. New research projects began in 2004 to expand and update the oldest parts of the dictionary to modern academic standards. Volumes A–F were planned for completion in 2012 by the Language Research Centre at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the University of Göttingen.

Frau Holle

"Frau Holle" (also known as "Mother Holle", "Mother Hulda" or "Old Mother Frost") is a German fairy tale that comes from the book Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales) collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. "Frau Holle" is the 24th story in the first volume of the book published in 1812 as part of Children's and Household Tales.

Grimms' Fairy Tales

Grimms' Fairy Tales, originally known as the Children's and Household Tales (German: Kinder- und Hausmärchen, pronounced [ˌkɪndɐ ʔʊnt ˈhaʊsmɛːɐ̯çən]), is a collection of fairy tales by the Grimm brothers or "Brothers Grimm", Jakob and Wilhelm, first published on 20 December 1812. The first edition contained 86 stories, and by the seventh edition in 1857, had 211 unique fairy tales.

Gustaf Tenggren

Gustaf Adolf Tenggren (November 3, 1896 – April 9, 1970) was a Swedish-American illustrator. He is known for his Arthur Rackham-influenced fairy-tale style and use of silhouetted figures with caricatured faces. Tenggren was a chief illustrator for The Walt Disney Company in the late 1930s, in what has been called the Golden Age of American animation, when animated feature films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Bambi and Pinocchio were produced.

Göttingen Seven

The Göttingen Seven (German: Göttinger Sieben) were a group of seven professors from Göttingen. In 1837, they protested against the abolition or alteration of the constitution of the Kingdom of Hanover by Ernest Augustus and refused to swear an oath to the new king of Hanover. The company of seven was led by historian Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann, who himself was one of the key advocates of the unadulterated constitution. The other six were the Germanist brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm (famed fairy tale and folk tale writers and storytellers, known together as the Brothers Grimm), jurist Wilhelm Eduard Albrecht, historian Georg Gottfried Gervinus, physicist Wilhelm Eduard Weber, and theologian and orientalist Heinrich Georg August Ewald.


Hanau is a large town in the Main-Kinzig-Kreis, in Hesse, Germany. It is located 25 km east of Frankfurt am Main and is part of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region. Its station is a major railway junction and it has a port on the river Main, making it an important transport centre. The town is known for being the birthplace of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm and Franciscus Sylvius. Since the 16th century it was a centre of precious metal working with many goldsmiths. It is home to Heraeus, one of the largest family-owned companies in Germany.

In 1963, the town hosted the third Hessentag state festival. Until 2005, Hanau was the administrative centre of the Main-Kinzig-Kreis.

Karl Bartsch

Karl Friedrich Adolf Konrad Bartsch (25 February 1832, in Sprottau – 19 February 1888, in Heidelberg) was a German medievalist.

He studied philology at the universities of Breslau (from 1848) and Berlin (1851/52), where he was a pupil of Wilhelm Grimm. In 1853 he received his doctorate from the University of Halle, and in 1855 began work as caretaker at the German National Museum in Nuremberg. In 1858 he was appointed professor of German and Romance philology at the University of Rostock, where he founded the first seminar for German philology. In 1871 he succeeded Adolf Holtzmann at the University of Heidelberg, where he taught till his death, shortly before what would have been his fifty-sixth birthday.

Karl Hartwig Gregor von Meusebach

Karl Hartwig Gregor von Meusebach (June 6, 1781 – August 22, 1847) was a German lawyer and literary scholar born in Voigtstedt, Thuringia. He used the pseudonyms "Alban" and "Markus Hüpfinsholz" in his writings. He was father to politician John O. Meusebach (1812-1897).

He studied in Göttingen and Leipzig, and in 1803 was appointed chancery-accessor in Dillenburg. Up until 1842 he was president of the Rheinischen Kassationshofs (Rhineland Cassation).

Meusebach was an expert on German literature, and during his lifetime amassed a personal library of 36,000 volumes of 16th–17th century literature, German church music, folk songs, chapbooks, et al. After his death, his collection was purchased by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Royal Library in Berlin) for 14700 Taler with support from Friedrich Wilhelm IV.

He was a good friend of the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, and was supportive of young scientists and writers that included poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben.

Kassel conversations

Kassel conversations (in German: Kasseler Gespräche) is the conventional name of an early medieval text preserved in a manuscript from c. 810. It is held today in the university library of Kassel, Germany (Ms. 4° theol. 24). It contains several parts, among them an Exhortatio ad plebem christianam, an instructional theological text in Latin. The part that has been of most interest for modern scholarship is that of the so-called Kassel glosses, one of the earliest written documents of the Old High German language.

The Kassel glosses are a collection of words and short phrases translated from Latin to Old High German. They appear to have been meant as a practical tool to help speakers of Romance languages to learn Old High German.

Among them are everyday phrases such as orders given to servants ("shave my beard"), questions and answers for basic communication ("do you understand? No, I don't"), and a few fragmentary grammar paradigms ("I understand, you understood, we understood"). The most famous entry, however, is a jocular jibe in Latin and Old High German:

Latin: "Stulti sunt romani sapienti sunt paioari modica est sapientia in romana plus habent stultitia quam sapientia."

Old High German: "Tole sint uualha, spahe sint peigira; luzic ist spahe in uualhum mera hapent tolaheiti denne spahi."

Translation: "Roman ("uualha") people are stupid, Bavarians are smart; there is little smartness in the Romans; they have more stupidity than smartness."The manuscript is written on 60 sheets of parchment. Based on the scribal hands and the forms of the Carolingian minuscule employed, it is believed that the text was written by two different scribes from the area of Regensburg c. 810. Parts of the text have a parallel in a second manuscript held in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

The manuscript came to Kassel from Fulda in 1632. It was mentioned for the first time by Johann Heinrich Hottinger in his work Historica ecclesiastica novi testamenti from 1637. The first scholarly study of the manuscript was done by Wilhelm Grimm in 1846. Grimm made the mistake of re-drawing the text with a modern ink to make the writing more legible. This has caused some permanent damage to the fragile material.

Louis-François L'Héritier

Louis-François L'Héritier, also known under the name L'Héritier de l'Ain (30 May 1788 – 14 July 1852) was a 19th-century French playwright, essayist, novelist and journalist.

He collaborated on various liberal newspapers and wrote several novels with Henri Ducor. He also realized translations such as Histoire des révolutions des Pays-Bas by Friedrich von Schiller (1833) or Les Veillées allemandes, chroniques, contes, traditions et croyances populaires by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (1838).

Ludwig Emil Grimm

Ludwig Emil Grimm (14 March 1790 – 4 April 1863) was a German painter, art professor, etcher and copper engraver. His brothers were the well-known folklorists, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

Mary's Child

"Mary's Child" or "Our Lady's Child" is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm in Grimm's Fairy Tales as tale number 3.The Brothers Grimm noted its similarity to the Italian The Goat-faced Girl and the Norwegian The Lassie and Her Godmother. They also noted its connection to the forbidden door and tell-tale stain of Fitcher's Bird. Other tales that make use of these elements are Bluebeard and "In the Black Woman's Castle".It is Aarne-Thompson type 710.

None Shall Escape

None Shall Escape is a 1944 war film. Even though the film was made during the World War II, the setting is a post-war Nuremberg-style war crimes trial. Alexander Knox plays Wilhelm Grimm, a Nazi officer who is on trial, and the story unfolds through the eyes of several witnesses, including a Catholic priest, Father Warecki (Henry Travers), Grimm's brother Karl (Erik Rolf) and Marja Pacierkowski (Marsha Hunt), a woman to whom he was once engaged.

Alfred Neumann and Joseph Than were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Story.

The Facetious Nights of Straparola

The Facetious Nights of Straparola (1550-1555; Italian: Le piacevoli notti), also known as The Nights of Straparola, is a two-volume collection of 75 stories by Italian author and fairy-tale collector Giovanni Francesco Straparola. Modeled after Boccaccio's Decameron, it is significant as often being called the first European storybook to contain fairy-tales; it would influence later fairy-tale authors like Charles Perrault and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

The Jew Among Thorns

The Jew Among Thorns (German: Der Jude im Dorn), which is also known as The Jew in the Brambles, is an anti-Semitic fairytale (ATU 592). The Brothers Grimm published it as number 110 in their collection Grimms' Fairy Tales. The title Der Jude im Dorn appeared in the first edition.

Theodore Ziolkowski

Theodore Ziolkowski (born 1932, Birmingham, Alabama), is a scholar in the fields of German studies and comparative literature. He received an A.B. from Duke University in 1951, an A.M. from Duke in 1952 and, following studies at the University of Innsbruck, his Ph.D from Yale University in 1957.

Following appointments at Yale and Columbia, he was called to Princeton University as professor of German in 1964. In 1969 he was appointed Class of 1900 Professor of German and Comparative Literature and, from 1979-92, Dean of the Graduate School. Since 2001 he has been Professor Emeritus. A past president of the Modern Language Association (1985) and visiting professor at several universities (Yale, CUNY, Rutgers, Bristol, Munich, Lueneburg), he has received many awards for his books and honors in the United States and abroad, including the Goethe-Medaille of the Goethe-Institut, the Jacob-und-Wilhelm Grimm Preis (DAAD), the Forschungspreis of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Bundesverdienstkreuz (1. Klasse) of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the D.Phil.h.c. from the University of Greifswald. A member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences he is also a corresponding member of the Austrian Akademie der Wissenschaften, the Göttingen Akademie der Wissenschaften, and the Deutsche Akademie fur Sprache und Dichtung.

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