So part of the aim of this blog is to find and share all things bookish. That basically means all the stuff we like, and secretly wish someone would buy us, gets shared on here alongside where to find it. It’s meant to collate everything we love while hopefully inspiring readers and fellow book nerds. It won’t surprise you to know that the majority of these are from Etsy, the place of all things handmade and quirky – but for future posts we’ll try and keep it a little more diverse.
I thought I’d kick it off with fairy tales and all things Grimm. Where better to start than the forefathers of the modern fairy tale?
Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859) Grimm were born in Hanau, Germany. Their family were prominent members of the community; their father was a district magistrate. According to Jack Zipes their home in the country gave them their familiarity with the superstitions prevalent amongst the country people and this ‘would later play a major role’ (Zipes, 2002, p.3) in their obsession with folklore.
Pullman argues that “The fairy tale is in a perpetual state of becoming and alteration. To keep to one version or one translation alone is to put robin redbreast in a cage.” (Pullman, 2013, p.xix). This notion characterises the Grimms and their work because it was constantly being adapted to suit the Grimms’ agenda and to fit a shifting society. One concrete version would be inadequate and eventually fade away, however by being in a constant state of change the fairy tale is always kept relevant. Their original work is what fuels and feeds our modern day fairy tales, including Disney.
The first edition of their collection was published in 1812 and it contained only 86 tales. Wilhelm would later work upon a framework provided by Jacob and add detail to the tales and eventually the collection grew to 211 tales and fables when the final edition was published in 1857. .
Pullman, Phillip. (2013). Grimms Tales For Young and Old. London: Penguin Books. p.xix.
Zipes, Jack. (2002). The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests To The Modern World (2nd ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p.3.
Now we’ve done that bit, let’s move on to the pretties!
7 Great Grimm’s Gifts
1.The Annotated Brothers Grimm – Maria Tatar
I have this, therefore I’m already biased. It is an extremely beautiful book and I love it. It’s hardcover with embossed gold and filled with these simply stunning drawings. The best bit is, if like me you get a little confused about all the different editions of The Brothers Grimm tales, there are perfect little annotated notes from Maria Tatar pointing out where significant changes have been made. Did you know evil step-mothers were originally just mothers? But the Wilhelm and Jacob thought that it was too scary for children and so added in a degree of separation by making the step-mother unrelated biologically.
You can get your copy from Amazon here.
2.Little Red Riding Hood print
I saw this on Etsy and it caught my eye, I’m a fan of prints like these and would literally have one of every fairy tale if I could. This is nice enough and innocent enough to be displayed without anyone giving it a second thought. Yet on the other hand, if you think about the blood red print, it could be a little unsettling, especially with the sharp toothed wolf on the edge of the page, following Red to Grandmother’s house, ready to eat the little girl whole!
If you also love this print, you can get it from Etsy here.
3.Little Red Riding Hood, again
I love these. These aren’t shoes….these are art! How insanely quirky and unique are these? I also love these because they add a touch of sexiness to the Red Riding Hood tale, which some read as a moral message against female promiscuity and sexual awareness. The little girl got devoured because she ignored the patriarchal rules and a big, bad wolf gobbled her up because her curiosity got the better of her. What brings that to the forefront more than sexy high heels?
You can order a pair of these from Etsy here.
4.This is for the Rumpelstiltskin fans
It’s simple and ever so charming. There’s a spinning wheel. There’s straw that’s been spun into gold. What more could you want? Rumpelstiltskin is a tale essentially about greed and the repercussions of making deals with magic men! Spinning was very lucrative when the Grimms collected and appropriated this tale. Well spun cloth would mean good money. Therefore spinning = gold.
You can find this charming necklace on Etsy here.
5. Mirror Mirror on the wall……
This I stumbled across by accident, I’m a sucker for beautiful chocolate. They’re made by a company called Fairy Tale Gourmet and they do a range of other fairy tale themed treats. They’re a little pricy but they are so adorably cute! These would make brilliant stocking fillers for the fairy tale addict in your life. Did you know that Snow White wasn’t all sweetness and light? After Snow White marries the prince, the queen is invited to the ball, there her feet are clasped in hot irons and she is made to dance until she drops down dead. Grimm.
6. Briar Rose (aka Sleeping Beauty)
This is a classic and very gorgeous necklace from John Greed Jewellery and designed by Edge West. This is definitely a bargain buy at £4.95! It would also make a lovely little stocking filler. The antique oval design gives it a romantic fairy tale look that any Sleeping Beauty fan will like.
You can find it here.
7. For the classic Grimm fan
This is my type of illustration. For me, this encapsulates what fairytales are as it borders on the beautiful and the sinister. This small hand mirror features artwork from ‘The Old Woman in the Wood’ and is another cute little stocking filler.
You can find this mirror on Etsy here.
So that’s it, these are my recommendations for the Grimm’s fans and if you spot any other Grimm themed pieces you think we should put on the site let us know!