Jacob and Wilhelm were Grimm. Wikimedia Commons
By Marguerite Johnson, University of Newcastle
Fairy tales have a tumultuous and fragile history. They originated as tales told by “folk”. They were passed down over generations to while away long winter nights, to provide entertainment at special occasions and for simple enjoyment.
Inevitably, as more people became literate and scholars began to record fairy tales, they were published. And then, with a wave of a magic wand, they entered the canon of European literature.