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The 'Grimm' Origin Of The Modern Fairy Tale

The 'Grimm' Origin Of The Modern Fairy Tale

September’s crate has launched! It’s filled to the brim with bookish goodies, each one themed around Grimm’s Fairy Tales. There’ll be books (of course), tea, stationery art and more! The first ten customers will receive a free gift from our friends at the Origami Boutique too - a beautiful paper rose.

You can take a look at the cover down below - we love the way it captures the transition between summer and autumn. If you like what you see you can grab your very own crate right here.

To celebrate this month’s crate we thought we’d discuss some of the original stories behind the modern fairy tales that we're all so familiar with today. 

Snow White

Unlike the happily ever after we’re all used to, Grimm’s version of Snow White has a far more macabre ending . First of all, there’s no “true love’s kiss”. Snow White dies from the poisonous apple and the prince and his servants carry her dead body back to “enjoy” later. Prince Not-So-Charming. Fortunately, a bump in the road on the journey back dislodges the fatal apple piece from her throat and resuscitates her. 

Snow White ends up marrying the prince. Now here’s the grim part… In this version of the fairy tale, Snow White’s step-mother is actually her mother. Savage. She attends her daughter’s wedding out of jealousy (there’s a surprise) where, as punishment for attempting to kill her daughter, she is forced to put on scalding hot iron boots and dance until she drops dead. 

Cinderella

Although the premise is very much the same - evil step-mother, horrid step-sisters, handsome prince - this version is a little more gruesome. We’ll start with the trying on of the glass slipper that we’re all so familiar with. In the original tale the sisters are so desperate to make the shoe fit that one of them cuts off a toe and the other hacks off a heel. Gross. 

Next up is her fairy godmother, who in this version is actually a magical tree with little birds who help her out - and by ‘help out’ we mean peck out the eyeballs of her step-sisters as revenge for how dreadfully they’ve treated Cinderella. Those sisters really got their comeuppance!

Rapunzel

Again, the plot here is similar to the modern tale but features a more sinister twist - don’t worry, there’s a happy ending! Rapunzel ends up locked in a tower after an evil enchantress takes her from her parents not long after she was born - the only way of entering the tower is by climbing up her long golden hair. 

Like the modern version, a man (in this case the king’s son) passes by and figures out how to get inside and the two (of course) fall in love. The real difference here is what happened when the evil enchantress finds out. Not only does she cut off Rapunzel’s hair but she banishes her to the desert too, where she gives birth to twins alone. She also blinds the king’s son. Talk about over reacting. Fortunately the king’s son finds his way to Rapunzel and is later healed. Now that’s the kind of ending we like!
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What's your favourite fairy tale?

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