“The Elves and the Shoemaker.”

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Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm and Wilhelm Carl Grimm
George Cruikshank, illus


“The Elves and the Shoemaker.”


Published by Charles Baldwyn, London




Copper etching


These volumes were the first English translations of the original tales written by the Grimm brothers. Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Carl Grimm (1786–1859) were German academics, philologists, lexicographers, who collected and published folklore. Their classic collection, Children’s and Household Tales (Kinder-und Hausmärchen), was published in two volumes – the first in 1812, the second in 1815. Between the first editions of 1812/1815 and the seventh (and final) edition of the combined tales in 1857, they revised their collection many times, so that it grew from 156 stories to more than 200.

Baldwyn learned about the tales from a family member of his printer, Edgar Taylor, who had just returned from studying in Gottingen where he had enjoyed reading the newly published stories, and offered to translate them for Baldwyn. Cruikshank’s wee copper etchings of the Grimms’ elves and ogres, some of the best he ever did, met with great applause and were a foundation of his reputation as one of the finest etchers of all time.


Source: German Popular Stories. Translated from the Kinder und HausMarchen. Collected by M. M. Grimm from Oral Tradition. 


From the collection of Josephine Lea Iselin.