Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm

16 Jan 2020
Kassel's most famous brothers are world famous for their collection of "Children's and Household Tales"; the fairy tales that have been translated into 160 languages, in over a billion editions. But the brothers meant so much more to Kassel and to German culture than that; as important linguists and co-founders of German literature studies they are true cultural icons.
Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm (1786–1859) Grimm were born in nearby Hanau, moved to attend school in Kassel in 1798, and studied German literature in Marburg. Appointed as librarians, they had ample time to research and document German and foreign fairy tales during their 22 years in Kassel, publishing their first book in 1812. While working as professors in Göttingen, they starting work on their monumental German Dictionary in 1838, the first part of which was published in 1852. In their lifetime the brothers only reached the letter F, and the full dictionary was only finished by a project team in 1962, after which revision and later digitisation started. After being expelled from Göttingen for opposing the new king of Hannover, the inseparable brothers taught and researched at the University of Berlin from 1840 until their deaths. They lie buried in Berlin's quaint Alte St.-Matthäus-Kirchhof cemetary.


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