Clever maids : the secret history of the Grimm fairy tales

by Paradiž, Valerie, 1963-

Format: Print Book 2005
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PD63.P37 2005x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PD63.P37 2005x
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PD63.P37 2005x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PD63.P37 2005x
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 398.20943 P21
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  398.20943 P21
Upper St. Clair Township Library Storage 808.8037 GRI BIO/CRIT
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
Collection  Storage
Call Number  808.8037 GRI BIO/CRIT
The famous fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm - stories like Snow White , Red Riding Hood , and Rumplestiltskin - are know to millions of people around the world and are deeply embedded in the collective psyche. In this charming account, writer and scholar Valerie Paradiz reveals the true story of how the fairy tales came to be. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, collectors and editors of more than 200 folk stories, were major German intellects of the nineteenth century, contemporaries of Goethe and Schiller. But as Paradiz reveals here, the romantic image of the two brothers traveling the countryside, transcribing tales told to them by peasants, is a far cry from the truth. In fact, more than half the fairy tales the Grimm brothers collected were actually contributed by their educated female friends from the bourgeois and aristocratic classes. While German folkloric scholars-all of them male-fancied themselves the keepers of the cultural flame, it was a handful of women who ensured that millions would know the stories of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella by heart. Set against the backdrop of the chaotic Napoleonic wars and the years of high German romanticism, Clever Maids chronicles one of the most fascinating literary collaborations in European history and brilliantly captures the intellectual spirit of the men and women of the age. Even more, it illuminates the ways in which the Grimm tales, with their mythic portrayals of courage, sacrifice, and betrayal, still speak so powerfully to us today.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Contrary to popular myth, the Brothers Grimm collected their stories not from peasants but from educated young women in their locale of Kassel, Westphalia. Paradiz (Elijah's Cup) has researched the lives of these feminine "fairytale think tanks" to whom the philologist brothers Grimm were so indebted. In doing so, she also details the family life of six Grimm children and their mother's struggles after the premature death of their lawyer father. Sketching in broad terms the Romantic German nationalist aims of the Grimm stories, Paradiz notes the irony that several of the tales were of French origin, having traveled to Germany through Huguenot immigration. She devotes a chapter to each woman contributor, among them the sullen lone Grimm sister, Lotte, burdened with the family's household chores; the much loved girl-next-door, Dortchen Wild, who contributed "Rumplestiltskin" and later married Wilhelm; the upper-class Hassenpflug sisters, who contributed a variety of tales, including "Puss in Boots" and "Little Red Riding Hood." Paradiz interestingly recounts how the Grimm brothers perceived some female contributors as threatening and unfeminine, while lauding others for their submissive, helpful personalities, and she mines the women's contributions for possible deviations from male stereotypes of the time. While her analysis is too tentative to amount to a coherent thesis, this accessible book brings unsung heroines of literature to light and will inform readers of women's history and literature. Agent, Elizabeth Kaplan. (Jan. 4) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Grimm, Jacob, -- 1785-1863.
Grimm, Jacob, -- 1785-1863 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Grimm, Wilhelm, -- 1786-1859.
Grimm, Wilhelm, -- 1786-1859 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Fairy tales -- Germany -- History and criticism.
Philologists -- Germany -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Basic Books,2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xvi, 222 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 209-212) and index.
ISBN 0738209171
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