The first volume of the Brothers Grimm
Kinder- und Hausmärchen (KHM) (Childrens and Household Tales or Grimm Fairy Tales
in English) was first published on December 20, 1812. In 1815 the second volume of the book was published. During the lifetimes of the Grimms, the books were published seven times in complete "large," two volume editions – in 1812/1815, 1819, 1837, 1840, 1843, 1850, and 1857. Each time the books were published the Grimms changed the stories. The stories were added to, expanded, edited, or even completely changed and or deleted. There are 34 stories in the first edition that never appear in any of the later editions. In the Volume I appendix, there are some 60 other alternate versions of stories and fragments that were never published again in the books. One story, #43
The Wonderly Guesting Manor, only appears in the first and second editions of the books. It was removed from subsequent editions. German readers might be familiar with the earlier versions of the stories as they
are freely and readily available. Readers of English are not so fortunate. Up until now, there was no systematic and complete translation of the 1812/1815 first editions of the stories. Most of what English speaking
people today are familiar with are the stories as they were in the final version of the stories published in 1857, 45 years after their first publication and as translated by various translators throught the years.
English readers wanting to know what the original versions of the stories were had to search for the odd translations here and there, or had to learn German and read them in the original.
The earlier versions are often times very different from the original versions. In the final version of Rapunzel, she asks: "Mother Gothel, how is it that you climb up here so slowly, and the King's son is
with me in a moment?" In the fist edition of the book, she says: ""but say to me Frau Goethel, my clothes-lets are becoming so tight to me and will not fit any more."
Here the implication is that she has slept with the prince and is now pregnant. This was changed in later editions to remove the implications of pre-marital sex. In the later editions, the text was also changed to reflect that a marriage had taken place. In the original story there is no reference to marriage. Likewise, in the last version of Snow White (Schneewittchen), it is Snow White's stepmother who is the evil queen and she asks for Snow White's heart as the token. In the original 1812 version the evil queen is Snow White's mother herself and it is she who asks for Snow White's lungs and liver as the token.
200 Year Anniversary Edition
The first copies of volume I of
the first edition of the KHM were published on December 20, 1812. The bulk of the remainder of the books were published by March 1813. Volume II of the first edition was published in the beginning of 1815. Friedrich
Panzer published his two volume Kinder- und Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm in ihrer Urgestalt in 1913, 101 years after the publication of volume I and about 98 years after volume II. This was a
reset edition for the text of the 1812/1815 first edition KHM for the 100 year anniversary. I happened to buy the two volumes of the Panzer edition in a small book shop in Hamburg on Dec 19, 2013, a day before and 201
years after the publication of volume I. I started reading the text and thinking about the translations on Dec 20, 2013. Since there is some leeway with the dates I will still call this the 200 Year English Anniversary
Edition. The publication date for this book of 2014 is the midway point between the publication of volume I and volume II of the KHM.
The Source Book
This translation is based on the Kinder- und Haus- Märchen. Gesammelt durch die Brüder Grimm. Berlin, in der Realschulbuchandlung.
1812. Volume I.
Which version did you read?
Many of the English editions do
not actually say which version of the texts they are based on. Most likely they are the final 1857 versions, but that is no guarantee and often it is not stated anywhere. One also needs to know who did the translating
and when, as every translator had his or her own way of translating the text.
Notes on Translation
Translating is an art. Just as a portrait of a person painted by Picasso will look very different from a portrait of the same person painted by Rembrandt or Andy Warhol, so too
will all translations be different. What my translations aim to be are faithful translations of the first edition from 1812 translated as closely as possible from the original German text without additions,
modifications, or removals of text. I really do mean faithful. I will say that they are accurate and authentic. My translations can be compared line by line with the original text. No words were added or deleted or
changed from the text, except minor changes for clarity. Nothing was censored. Nothing was rewritten. The stories appear almost exactly as they were written in 1812. For example, the cannibalism scene in The Juniper
is often removed entirely in English translations. I, of course, left it in. Of course many, if not all, translators say the same thing; that their translations are faithful, but we each mean something different by it. Translators invariably rewrite the text to make it more easily readable, they add words, leave certain words out, they update expressions to modern equivalents; sometimes they even mistranslate words by accident or by design. English readers of the Märchen will never know any of this. I have seen a story where the original story contains 65 diminutive endings where the translator completely removes all of them in the English translation (See #30). Is this still the same story? If you change a story that much is it still a Grimm story, or is it the translator's story? Is a "Krautlöwe" a "wild cat" as one translator translated? A "Krautlöwe" is actually a rabbit and makes the story the word appears in much more interesting. Literally it is: "herb-lion" or "weed–lion." Such an interesting and unusual word that was lost in the translation. A hunter will appreciate the use of that particular word (#81). An argument can be made that since most English readers may not know what a rabbit sounds like under those circumstances, translating the word as "wild cat" makes the screetchings more understandable. But then the screechings of a rabbit are not the same as the screechings of a wild cat. A rabbit is not a cat. While I purposely did not read any English translations prior to finishing or while working on mine; since finishing, I have gone back to look at some other translations. In Märchen #69
Jorinde and Joringel, the original German phrase "alten Maibuchen" is often mistranslated. I have never seen a correct translation of it. I have seen it as "old birch trees," "old beech trees," "old may bushes,"
and various other versions, but never the correct translation: "old May-beeches." This is particularly important in the story because in Germany, beech trees are only called "May-beeches" at a certain time of year,
namely in May, when they get their first leaves. Translating it as "old beech trees" leaves the trees as plain old trees without any significance whatsoever. One might as well pick any random tree name then and insert
it –"old larches," or "old eucalyptus." In the original, the word: ''May-beeches" is used to signify rebirth, new beginnings, marriage, two young people starting out a new life together, etc. At any other time of year
they can be accurately described as "old beeches." What and how much is lost in that story when the wrong tree word is used? Similarly, when in #47 "Regarding The Juniper Tree" the German word for "sauer" is
translated as "stew," what is lost or gained? "Sauer" is a special way of cooking that has the connotation: butchering a pig, cooking with vinegar, a meal on the day the pig is butchered, blood-soup (Schwarz-sauer),
head cheese, etc. None of that is in "stew." In addition "stew" is "Eintopf" and not "sauer." If then "stew" is used for "sauer," how then to translate the "schwarzsauer" (blood-soup) that the mother makes out of the
boy and later serves up? Gory? Maybe, but Schwarzsauer is a traditional dish in Northern Germany and other places. Again, made after a pig is slaughtered. Translating this too as "stew," does a disservice to the story.
Maybe the translators wanted to spare the readers all those thoughts and chose a "nice" word like "stew." In that same story, #47, when the German "Böse," is translated as "the devil," is that the same as "Evil?" There
is no mention of "Teufel" (Devil) in the story. Although if we accept the idea that "Der Böse" can be synonymous with "The Devil," we still have the question of the difference between "Das Böse" and "Der Böse" (Das and
Der). Finally, in the same story, is "crushing" the mother/wife to death the same as turning her into "mud" or "slush"? A mill stone that is so heavy that twenty men have trouble lifting it could do some serious damage
to the woman and turning her into "mud" or "slush" paints a very clear and gruesome picture in the readers mind. Being turned into "slush" is far different than merely being "crushed." Translating the German word
"Matsch" into the English "crushed" takes much away from the story.
Diminutives and how to deal with them is probably one of the first and most important decisions to be made when translating these stories. In German any noun can be turned into a diminutive by adding upper
German –chen or middle German –lein. In English we have no regular way of doing this. The diminutives do survive in a few words – pig and piglet, table and tablet, braces (suspenders) and
bracelet, etc. In addition, the diminutives in the story are also meant to add a feeling of "magic," or the "fantastic," or "unreality" to the stories. Hänsel and Gretel do not come upon a "little house" in the forest,
but they arrive at a "Häuschen" (house-let). In translating I used the English word and usually added –let as the suffix to create the diminutive. While I could have also used the upper
German -chen when it was used, I felt that adding two diminutives was a bit too much all at once so I usually stayed with –let
alone. Most, if not all English translators of the stories, dispense with the diminutives entirely and just translate them as "little this" or "little that." I think it completely misses the point of the diminutives. At any points in the stories the Grimms could have written "little this" or 'little that," and sometimes they did, when it was appropriate, but most of the time they did not. Then one has to ask oneself why? The answer, in my opinion, is that the use of the diminutives adds the element of magic and fantasy to the stories that the word "
little" can not convey. "Little" only means "small," nothing more. The actual word "klein" (little) only appears about 22 times in the KHM, whereas there are many thousands of diminutives used in
the books. I think it is safe to say that any time a diminutive is used one can think "magic" or "magical" and one will not be far off the mark. How often does one hear a door or a wagon or a broom, or for that matter
hear any animal speak? So when the stories speak of "door-lets" and "broom-lets" and "bird-lets" and "fox-lets," don't think "little broom" and "little door" and "little bird" and "little fox." This is a (magical,
fantastic) door-let that is creaking, a (magical, fantastic) broom-let that is sweeping on its own, a magical bird and a magical fox that speak. Very different. In the same way Aschenputtel (Cinderella) does not go to a
"kleinen Baum" (little tree) for her wishes, she goes to a "Bäumchen" (tree-let) and makes her wishes. A little tree is a little tree, but a "tree-let," well, that is magical.
Märchen or Fairy Tales?
In the German title of the book "Kinder- und Hausmärchen,"
"Märchen" is itself a diminutive. "Märchen" comes from "Maere" – news, something that happened. Something that is, or will be famous, an actual event. With the diminutive ending then, they are "short," "small," "news,"
"short stories." Since they come from oral traditions they are likely to be short any way, so the teller can remember and recount them.
In English, the Märchen are often translated as Fairy Tales,
but there are really only two fairy tales (tales involving fairies) in Volume I of the KHM: #12 Rapunzel and #50 Dornröschen (Briar Rose, Sleeping Beauty). Two other stories have mention of "fairies" or "
Feen:" #66 Hurleburlebutz and #70 The Okerlo. Even the fairy or "Fee" in Rapunzel was later changed to a sorceress and the fairy in #50 was changed to a "wise woman." None of the other stories have
any mention of "fairies." I prefer to use the word "Märchen" for the tales. It is much better and more accurate of what the tales actually are.
Punctuation and Word Order
The German and English languages are related enough that I was able to translate each clause and sentence by
itself. Every period, comma, quote, semicolon, colon, dash, exclamation and question mark are in exactly the same position in the English translation as they were in the original German text. German generally does not
use an apostrophe to show genitive possession, so I generally avoided them also in the translations. The paragraphs and dialog are in the same format as in the original book published in 1812. In modern English texts,
we would begin a new sentence or paragraph whenever the speaker changes. In the original texts that was not done. There are many typographical and capitalization mistakes in the original. I attempted to leave it as it
was in the original. It is one of those projects that if started it never stops. The word order is also as close as possible to the original. Usually I only had to move a noun or a verb to the beginning of a sentence to
make it more readable in English. Sometimes leaving the sentence structure as it is in the original, I feel, keeps more of the original flavor of the texts. I could have rewritten the sentences to use more modern
language, or writing style, but as I wanted to keep as close to the original style as possible, and if I did any rewriting at all, I kept it to a minimum and then only for the sake of clarity.
The formatting also follows as closely as possible to the original 1812 volume I. Although
I would like to have the book in a Fraktur font that is similar to the old German printing style common at the time, reading that font is most likely too difficult for the average reader. It takes time to get used to
it. The "s" and "f' are particularly easy to confuse. The "s" is similar to the "f," but without the horizontal cross bar. This is seen in old English and American texts also. The letter "¥" was used in the US
Bill of Rights in the word "Congre¥s" (Congress) and other old American texts. See the photo of the Frog Prince text.
The stories were written over 200 hundred years ago and the writing style is very different even from modern
German writing style. For example in #22 How Children Played with One Another at Butchering, The original German is:
"Und sie ordneten ein Büblein an, das solle der Metzger seyn, ein anderes Büblein, das solle Koch seyn, und ein drittes Büblein, das solle eine Sau seyn."
In a modern translation by Maria Tatar in her book, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, she translates this as:
"And they decided that one boy should be the butcher, another boy should be the cook, and the third should be the pig."
In my new translation I translated it as:
"And they arranged for one Büblein, that one should be the butcher, another Büblein, that should be the cook, and a third
Büblein, that should be a Sau."
In modern German, this sentence could be written as:
Und sie sagten einem Jungen, er sollte ein Metzger sein, ein anderer Junge, der sollte ein Koch sein, und einen
dritten Jungen, der sollte eine Sau sein.
Und sie befahlen einem Jungen, dass er ein Metzger sein sollte, ein anderer Junge sollte ein Koch sein und ein dritter Junge sollte eine Sau sein.
To take the sentence apart then, we have 1 sentence with 27 words, 6 clauses, 5 commas and 1 old spelling together with diminutives –lein" and an unusual word -"Buben." First, how do you deal with "seyn"?
This is an old spelling of "sein" (to be), so that is relatively easy so "seyn" can be changed to a from of the verb "to be." Then, a bit more difficult is the word Buben. How to deal with that? Buben translates as
"boys," but the modern German word for boys is "Jungen." How then are "Buben" different from "Jungen"? Then there is the diminutive "–lein" that the end of "Buben" – "Büblein." How to deal with that? Little boys? Then
how about all the clauses, leave them or update them and make it easier to read? I chose to leave the sentence structure as much as possible as the original. If the new sentences or stories read awkwardly, then anyone
is of course welcome to take the original German text and make their own translations as they see fit, but the more one changes, the further they will go from the originals.
Given the popularity of the Grimm TV series and its albeit corrupted use and even creation of new,
unknown, even non-existing German words, I felt it safe to leave some words un-translated. I gave a definition at the end of the story in the notes. Anyone who has watched the TV show most likely knows what a Hexenbiest
is (even though there is no such German word). So I felt it safe and appropriate to leave such words as Hexenmeister, Frau, Ach, Ei, etc., untranslated. Hexenmeister also sounds much more interesting than "wizard," or
"warlock." Many German words are also already in use in English: Schadenfreude, Angst, Kindergarten, Rucksack, Gesundheit, kaputt,… and the list goes on, so here will be a few more. It also eliminates the possibility of
trying to find just the right English word for a story and picking one that is close, but does not convey the full meaning of the original word. This way we can keep the German word and just explain what it means. "
Volkswagen" does not get translated in the English "Peoples Car," but is left as "Volkswagen" and people are comfortable with it. Hopefully they may someday be as comfortable with "Märchen" and other
words like it.
English Words without the Correct Gender – "Englishified" Words
In English we have prince and princess, host and hostess, waiter and waitress. The first term being the masculine and the second term being the feminine term. We don't have kingess, or cookess, or washeress
and the like. We sometimes create the feminine by adding "ess," "esse," or "e" as a suffix to the male word. In Märchen #22 How Children Played with One Another at Butchering, in the original text it is written:
In German: Ein Mägdlein, ordneten sie, solle Köchin seyn, wieder ein anderes, das solle Unterköchin seyn.
In English (normal translation): A girl, they arranged, should be cook, again another should be the under-cook.
The German male cook is "Koch," the female cook is called "Köchin." What then is a female cook
called in English? Is that to be translated as "the lady cook?," "the she cook?" "the female person who is the cook?" Just plain "cook" and forget about the gender? We have no good English word for it and many
translations just dispense with the gender entirely. So I decided to create a new one (or actually reuse an old one). I called a female cook a "cookess." "Cook" + "ess."
So my English translation of that
would be: A Mägdelein, they arranged, should be cookess, again another, that should be under-cookess;
"Maiden-let" could be substituted for "Mägdelein" so that we keep the diminutive as well as
the gender in the translation so that the sentence reads:
A Maiden-let, they arranged, should be cookess, again another, that should be under-cookess;
At first reading it might
sound odd, but say it 50 times and it becomes familiar. Say it 100 times and it's like and old pair of jeans - it just fits. Just think: prince, princess, cook, cookess, host, hostess. In the German there is König
"king" (male) and Königin "queen" (female) "König" +"in". I would like to be able to say "king" and "kingess," but I have not gotten there yet, though the same rule can certainly apply.
Why choose this word or that word?
In translating I could have chosen different words to use in
certain places and often times several could be appropriate. One word might not necessarily be better than another, but sometimes one word can give a story a feeling that another word might not. Take "Berg" for example.
Berg is German for mountain or hill. To me a "Berg" is much smaller than a mountain and a hill is much smaller than a "Berg," but "Berg could also be "mount." So in some cases I used the word "mountain," like when the
story was calling for something really big. Sometimes I use the word "mount," when that felt appropriate and sometimes I kept the German word "Berg" in the story and added a definition at the end. "Zauberer" is another
example. It could mean wizard, magician, sorcerer, conjurer, or magus. It is not always a clear answer as to which to use. Sometimes the context determined the word. "Taschen" can mean pockets or bags, depending on the
context. "Frau" can mean wife or woman. Sometimes the answer is more clear than other times. Sometimes either word will do. There are of course other times when the selection of a word can drastically change the meaning
of a story and give it a different feeling. For example, "böse" comes up many times, but choosing to translate it as either: bad, 'evil' or 'Evil', vicious, angry, nasty, wicked, unholy, mad, baleful or sinister, can
drive a story in a certain direction. Then if it is capitalized as in "Böse," it again means something different. In this case it could mean a wicked or evil person, a villain, or a black-hearted person. It is safe to
say that often times a translation is usually only an approximation of the original.
She or It?
The German texts use the pronouns "es" ("it") and "sie" ("she") in different places to refer to characters. I have used both in my translations.
The Märchen are full of symbolism. Almost every number, every object, every action can have some sort of meaning. In creating an accurate and faithful
translation, these meanings can still be searched for as they can in the original text. For example, when the child in #54 Hans Dumm
is given a "Zitrone" in the hand, I do not translate "Zitrone" into a random fruit like "avocado" or even another citrus fruit like "kumquat," I translate it as "lemon." If I were to translate it as one of the other fruits, people would go in search of the meanings of avocados and kumquats in Märchen and maybe find none (except that maybe they taste good in dips and jams respectively). The symbolism of lemons can be searched for and the possible meanings can still be found: sour, bitter, difficult life, etc. Of course that is an obvious case, but translators have been known to take liberties ("beech trees" and "birch trees" #69, "stew" and "Sauer" #47, "grandfather stool" and "easy chair" #10, etc.). Likewise when "rabbits" are mentioned, I don't send searchers off to look into the possible the meanings of "wild cats" (#81). Given that there is not always an exact 1:1 correlation of meanings from German to English, I had to choose the best word possible. Often times, I also listed alternatives, and those can be used as reference also. Other times, rather than pick a random word to translate something into, I leave it in the original German and give an explanation. What English word corresponds exactly to Spazieren? Searching for "walking" might not bring up the relevant information. Finally, when a poem includes words that are repeated
four times, I translate the words four times. I do not say, three is plenty of repetitions, we don't need the 4th one, lets forget about it, or let's repeate it a 5th
time, "just because." In #19, "Regarding The Fisher and His Wife", the repetition of "Mandje, Mandje" two times is important because I believe that each repetition has a different meaning. It is not just the
same word repeated twice. Sometimes the number of repetitions is important also.
In the 1812 KHM words are only repeated in unusual circumstances and when they are they are important. In #47 Regarding the Juniper Tree,
when the mother/stepmother serves the soup the text says: "…the mother carried a large, large bowl on with black-sour…"
The repetition of the word "large" is important and indicative. It appears in a few other stories and when it does, it is there for a very good reason.
Sources for The Märchen – Oral or Literary?
The Grimms said in their introduction: "Everything is with small exceptions from
Hessen and the Main and Kinzig regions in the Dutchy of Hanau, from where we hail, and was collected orally; that is why on each one a pleasant memory is attached." There are many oral sources for the tales listed, but
there are also many literary sources for the tales as can be seen in the Anhang and the new Appendices. No doubt there is some overlap between the two. Possibly they heard a tale orally first, then found literary
sources for the tale. For example, #68 The Summer and Winter Garden, was told to them by Ferdinand Siebert, but in the Anhang, they also list that same story ("but badly written") in a book by Benidicte Naubert
titled: "Die junge Amerikanerin, oder B(V)erkürzung müßiger Stunden auf dem Meere." Similarly, #81 The Smith and the Devil, was told to them by Marie Hassenpflug, but in the Anhang, they mention that
it is a "widely spread folk tale" and list two literary sources.
The 1812 Comments (Appendix) Section
In the 1812 first edition of the Kinder und Hausmärchen, the brothers Grimm included an extensive 60 page comments section (Anhang or Appendix) at the end of the text. This
appendix discussed the origin of the tales, where they obtained the tales and often times one or several other versions of the same or similar stories. There are approximately 25 more or less complete alternate versions
of stories published there together with approximately 35 story fragments in Volume I. In addition, they list a great number of books from where they obtained some of their stories. For example, #8
The Hand with the Knife, is listed as coming from a book by Ann Grant published in 1811 titled Essays on the Superstitions of the Highlanders of Scotland. The book is available on the internet and can easily
be read, as can the original Scottish folk song the Scottish story is based on. Of course that story was removed and never republished after 1812, so English readers of the KHM will be unfamiliar with it anyway.
Likewise, should someone want to read the original story that #27 Death and the Gooseherder is based on, one can read the original Georg Philipp Harsdörffer book on the internet, published in 1656 titled:
Der Grosse Schauplatz Jämmerlicher Mordgeschichte (The Great Showplace of Deplorable Murder Stories). What a great title! The actual original story is titled: Der bestraffte Diebstal (The Punished Theft)
in book 8 #181. By 1856 the appendix was published in a separate volume. As far as I know the original appendix was never published in any English versions of the stories, so the 60 some odd "new" stories and fragments found therein have been almost entirely unknown to the English
1 KHM reading public.
1 I have since seen that in the 1884 translation by Margaret Hunt, she did include the Anhang. That translation
is most likely based on the 1856 edition of the Anhang.
That English readers have been deprived of the Anhang is very unfortunate. The
Anhang is a lost "gem" and a great source of information. It is arguably as important as the stories themselves.
I have also included two additional versions of Snow White, found in the 1810 hand written
manuscripts at the end of the story. What is fascinating to see is what the "Spiegel" (mirror?), referred to in the stories at one point in the very beginning. I won't give it all away, you'll have to read the book.
Many other gems like this lie in waiting in the appendix.
The Missing Last Story #86.
This book is based on the scanned version of the 1812 first edition of the KHM available at Grimms.de. That book is presumably one given to the Grimms by the publisher of the first printings with the missing
story. Other printings of the first edition include #86. In the book the stories are numbered 1 to 85. There is no #86, but there is mention of a #86 story in the Anhang. In the article: The External History of the
"Kinder- und Haus-Märchen" of the Brothers Grimm by T. F. Crane in Modern Philology, Vol. 14, No. 10 (Feb., 1917), pp. 577-610 it is written as follows: "Arnim made arrangements with Reimer of Berlin to
publish the book, with a certain honorarium when a fixed number of copies were sold. The manuscript went to Berlin toward the end of September, 1812, so that the Märchen would be ready for Christmas. The first copy was
sent by the publishers at the Grimms' request to Arnim. By an annoying mistake (let students of Don Quixote take notice) the last story of the volume,
1. Ed 1812
2. Ed 1819
3. Ed 1837
4. Ed 1840
5. Ed 1843
6. Ed 1850
7. Ed 1857
The Frog Prince or The Iron Heinrich / Der Frosh Prince order der Eisenere Heinrich
The Stolen Heller / Der gestohlene Heller
The good Bargain / Der gute Handel
Jorinde and Joringel / Jorinde und Joringel
No. 68, "Der Fuchs und die Gänse," was omitted, although it was commented upon in the appendix. Arnim wrote to the brothers: "Reimer
does not know what has become of it. I suspect his children have torn it up as they recently did a letter which he had received for me."' The
intended illustration was also missing and was not sent to the publisher to be issued with the omitted story as the brothers proposed."
They write the missing story as "68," but I suspect that it is a typographical error as the missing story is #86. Needless to say, I have
included #86 in this translation. Once you read the story it is obvious why it is a good one to end the book on.
The signature marks on the pages do not illuminate the question of the missing story. The previous 16 page (octavo) section ends on pg
384. Pg 385 looks to be a 4 page (folio) signature. Since all 4 pages are full of text there is no room for the 86th story. Adding it would
leave 3 empty pages at the end of the Märchen section of the book. It would be interesting to see the lastly printed version of the book (those finished in March 1813) to see what the printer and bookbinder did.
Timing - Setting The Mood
When reading the stories, think of the times when they were written down. While they were written down between 1806 and 1812 the
stories are actually much older. Bring yourself back to that time when the Brothers Grimm were collecting the stories and when the first edition was published:
Napoleon had just invaded Russia,
the war of 1812 had just begun,
Jane Austen had just published her first book, "Sense and Sensibility,"
Beethoven had just composed "Für Elise,"
America had just declared independence 36 years earlier.
Stories with Titles Changed
Nine Pins and Card Game, #4 Gut Kegel- und Kartenspiel, was changed to The Story of one Who Went Forth to Learn Fright (Märchen
von einem, der auszog das Fürchten zu lernen).
The Poor Maiden #83 Das arme Mädchen was later called The Star Thaler Die Sterntaler.
Signature marks are marks or words at the bottom of the page for the bookbinder so that they can bind the book in the correct order.
For the KHM, a variety of signatures were used. According to the marks from the title page to the end of the introduction it was 16
page (octavo) and an 8 page (quarto) signature. The table of contents were a 4 page (folio) signature. The marks in the KHM are the
first word at the top of the page of the next signature. I have not included these words in the translation.
Notes and Comments in The Märchen
I have included notes and comments at the end of each Märchen. The notes describe words used in the story and sometimes some
additional useful information. The comparisons to later editions listed in the comments are not meant to be exhaustive and complete, just a general overview.
Scanned digital online version of the original 1812 text with handwritten notes by the Grimm's:http://www.grimms.de/khm/khmhexa.php
A printed version of the same book:KHM 1812 Link
Retyped text of the 1812 books (German only). Zeno.org Link
theoriginalgrimm.com web site for more information.
Corrections and Mistakes
My motivation in undertaking such a project as translating the original Grimm stories grew out of the beauty of the original stories and
the fact that no accurate and complete English translation of this work existed. I am not a Grimm scholar (although I am slowly
becoming one), I have no specific training in translation or literature. I have my own feelings on how a good translation could be and
should be done and have attempted to do it. Time will tell if the endeavor was successful. I have attempted to be as accurate as possible,
but as in many endeavors, there will no doubt be mistakes. Corrections and comments gladly accepted at :
Updates, changes, corrections, new information, etc., will be posted on the web site.
Still to Come
The 1815 Volume II of Kinder- und Haus- Märchen. Gesammelt durch die Brüder Grimm.
The 1810 Handwritten Manuscripts.
The copy of the book used to make the translation has numerous handwritten notes by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm. I have used some
of the notes in the translation, but the vast majority of the notes are not included here. That might be included in a future edition of the book and would no doubt be very valuable.