The Brothers Grimm (1785-1863 & 1786 -1859)

The White Snake

I’m trying to be as diverse as possible with my choices  of story but am still at the stage of working through the bookshelves at home.  In my search, I came across a Wordsworth Classics edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (by German brother’s Jacob and Wilhelm) and translated by Lucy Crane, with illustrations by Walter Crane.

I chose The White Snake as it wasn’t one of the tales I immediately remembered, and I’m still not sure I ever read it as a child, although that seems unlikely as we had Grimm’s Fairy Tales read aloud regularly as bedtime stories. It follows the usual Grimm format .. .. good, evil, a happy ending, not always without collateral damage en route, with a good dose of morality thrown in for good measure.  Oh, and then there’s the fickle princess who is swayed into loving the hero, only once he’s succeeded in completing three  impossible challenges.

Of course, it was impossible to stop at one, so I took my comfort in the beautifully familiar tale of Hansel and Grethel, a story I read myself many, many times as a child, and I found myself as incredulous now as I was then, at the idea that anyone would leave the children in a wood, or indeed, that there could be a house made of such good things to eat.

You can read The White Snake here and Hansel and Grethel here