I thought I'd give you a little trivia about a few well-known fairytale authors.
- Perrault was born in 1628-1703.
- From a very young age, he had an independent mind. In school, he had a disagreement with the instructor over philosophy. The instructor turned him out. A friend of his, agreed with Perrault and walked out of school with him. The two boys continued their education themselves. (Hey, hey! Homeschoolers!)
- He continued to be outspoken and independent minded. Sometimes people listened to him and other times. . . not so much.
- He was a member of the French court.
- For all his forward thinking, it's his fairy tales that we remember although he did write other books.
- He didn't marry until he was 44, or 55, depending on which source you read. But the point is he didn't marry until much later on in life. I didn't found out how old his wife was, but she died six years after their marriage. (I find that very sad.)
- After her death, Perrault retired to look after his children's education and write. (Isn't that neat?) He had three sons and one daughter (six years, four kids; his poor wife).
- He was 70 when he published his book of fairytales, called Tales of Mother Goose by some sources and by others Stories or Tales from Times Past with Morals. It included tales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Red Riding Hood.
- Perrault's tales often had a written moral at the end.
- He wrote these for the nobility of the French court. Apparently, it was the fashion to take a folk tales of the lower classes and retell them to suit and entertain the upper class.
Jacob and Wilhem Grimm were born in 1785 and 1786.
- They were pretty inseparable throughout their whole lives. They went to school together where they were at first mistreated because they were of a lower class than most of the other students. As they grew up, they worked together as librarians for Jerome, Napoleon Bonaparte's brother. Even after Wilhem married, Jacob (who never married) lived in his brother's house.
- They retold fairytales with German culture, as during that time Germany was being heavily influenced by the French culture. Some of their stories are of French origin, although altered from a German and more Christian perspective. (The French tales usually have fairies in them while the Grimm's very rarely included any fairies.)
- The Grimm brothers originally wrote their book of fairytales for scholars. The stories were very violent and harsh.
- A lot of their stories came from their middle class friends who most often heard these stories from their governesses and/or nurses.
- When the Grimms realized people were reading their book to children. They altered many of the stories and left some out for a more child friendly edition. (Many of the evil step-mothers in fairytales were originally biological mothers.)
- Even after the alterations some of the Grimms' stories are still very violent and horrific. (You probably knew this.) They receive a lot of criticism for this as well as for the fact that they're stories weren't that of the lower classes and not always strictly German in origin.
Hans Christian Andersen
- Andersen was Danish and lived from 1805-1875.
- Despite wanting to be a writer, he had difficulty in school. It is supposed that he had dyslexia.
- He often memorized stories in order to retell them/perform them to people.
- His instructors actually discouraged him from writing because they thought it was frivolous. His friends would accuse him of "writing too much." (Whoever heard of such a term?)
- His first published work was a poem entitled The Dying Child.
- He traveled often and wrote books about his travels.
- Not all of his fairytales are retellings of oral stories, some of them are of his own making.
- The Snow Queen is one of his own tales and is his longest tale with seven "stories" or chapters.
- In Denmark, they actually have a festival to celebrate Andersen and his fairytales.
- Out of all of these, I like the way Andersen writes the most.
Hope you liked this!
Do you have anything to add? Any interesting tidbits of information? Or do you know of another well known fairytale writer?