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They made the phrase ‘once upon a time’ part of universal vocabulary, and children around the world are familiar with their stories, but generally readers know little of the brothers themselves. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were linguists, academics, librarians, lexicographers and cultural researchers, who were determined that traditional stories should not be lost to posterity. Thanks to their efforts, such tales as Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood were saved and popularised.
The brothers were devoted to each other. Wilhelm married but Jacob always shared their home. Their first collection, Children’s and Household Tales, came out in 1812, and eventually they published more than 200 stories. The world is a richer place thanks to those two remarkable men.
Learn more about the Brothers Grimm, and delve more deeply into the wolf-infested forest of Little Red Riding Hood.