Snow and Ice

Snowdrops - February
Snowdrops – February

The Brothers Grimm, whose lives flipped from well to do to poor and starving, collected peasant tales almost by accident. They issued a small book in the hope of supplementing their meagre income. It was sadly, perhaps not a complete failure, but not far from it. Jacob (the eldest) and Wilhelm, next tried a ‘Small Edition’  – and that did better. The Grimms, particularly Jacob, were not storytellers or interested in children’s tales at all. They were collecting stories told in inns and workplaces to salvage German heritage from Napoleon’s over-rule. Luckily, by the time they produced the Small Edition, Jacob had become bored with the whole business and become involved with an extensive treatise on German grammar. This left Wilhelm to realise that stories for children were the new big thing and he started to knock the tales in the book into shape for this market, removing as much of the sex and violence as he could without detracting from the stories. So, by 1857, they were perhaps, not quite completely Disney-fied – but they were well on their way.

Snow White had a taste for apples and miners. Hi. Ho. Snow White and Rose Red took in bears that had a taste for dwarves. The Snow Queen, on the other hand, was a nasty piece of work from a Hans Christian Anderson tale.

The Ice Queen aka The White Witch lived in the back of a wardrobe.

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