In this occasional series on biblical connections with Grimm’s fairy tales. I probably should have added an introduction before my first post on Cinderella, so please excuse that omission which I am endeavouring to correct with this prequel.
My reflections are all based around the fairy tales written, compiled or translated by the brothers Grimm. Some of the stories will be familiar, albeit under different titles, such as Aschenputtle (translated as Cinderella) and Rapunzel, and some might be less well known tales, like Chanticleer And Partlet. I do not intend to review every single one of their tales.
Why the biblical connection?
The brothers Grimm were themselves Christian, although I am not suggesting that this in itself was the root of the connection I infer between their stories and The Bible. The Grimms wrote comparatively few tales themselves, translating them from other stories and languages and compiling them into their book of fairy tales. The biblical connection is more the result of the era in which the tales were written; an era when The Bible would have been much more well known, if not required reading, by the then contemporary writers.
In the countries from which the stories originate, it would have been quite unusual for the authors’ not to have gone to church each Sunday and be familiar with at least the major narratives of The Bible. Whilst they might not have deliberately written their tales with bible stories in mind they would probably have had the bible stories in the back of their minds. Those accounts, letters and parables could certainly have influenced their thinking as they were writing.
My first post on the topic of fairy tales was about Cinderella, prompted by the BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship programme in the spring of 2013. That writing drew heavily from the programme. Since then I have been reading Grimms Fairy tales myself and my writing is drawing less on other sources, save the tales themselves and The Bible, and more from my own thoughts and the connections and parallels I can infer.
I hope you might enjoy reading my ‘fairy tales’ as much as I am enjoying the writing of them and if you missed my first tale on Ashenputtle (cinderella) you can find it here.
- Fairy Tales (jandws.wordpress.com)