Clever Maids: The Secret History of the Grimm Fairy Tales

Clever Maids: The Secret History of the Grimm Fairy Tales

by Valerie Paradiz

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Clever Maids: The Secret History of the Grimm Fairy Tales by Valerie Paradiz

Most people know the stories of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, but very few know that behind the Brothers Grimm and their fairy tales stood a network of sisters-and mothers, neighbors, and female friends. In this intimate history, Valerie Paradiz tells the real story of the greatest literary collaboration of the nineteenth century, and gives the long-lost narrators of these beloved tales their due. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were major German intellects of their time, contemporaries of both 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 far from the truth. More than half of the tales the Grimm brothers collected were contributed by women friends from the upper classes. Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars and the high years of German romanticism, Clever Maids chronicles this most fascinating enterprise in literary history, and illuminates the ways the Grimm tales-with their mythic portrayals of courage, sacrifice, and betrayal-still resonate so powerfully today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786738533
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 04/27/2009
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Valerie Paradiz holds a Ph.D. in German Studies and has taught at Bard College. She is the author of Elijah's Cup, as well as numerous translations. She lives in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York.

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Clever Maids: The Secret History of the Grimm Fairy Tales 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
kf4vkp on LibraryThing 5 days ago
This book details the contributions to the Grimm Fairy Tales by women during the period they were being collected. The Wild sisters, who lived next door, along with other female aquaintences who they knew told them the stories as they transcribed them. It also details how they got interested into the project in the first place.
collsers on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I found Paradiz's book to be pretty interesting, with an inside look at the creation of the fairy tales that children still read today, and the forgotten role women played. I did, however, feel that the writing at times left something to be desired, with awkward phrasings and a few confusing passages (though overall, the writing deserves much praise for its ability to present scholarly research to lay readers).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago