Grimms’Fairy Tales is a familiar name. The brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were born in the German city of Hanau in 1785 and 1786 respectively. While both of them studied law, they soon developed an interest in collecting old folktales. They spent six years travelling from village to village, talking to people and writing down fairy tales, which were handed down through the generations. These were popular both among children and adults. In 1812, they published their first collection of tales. Subsequently, both the brothers became active in liberal politics, especially the movement for freedom of the press. In the meantime they also published a 33-volume dictionary of the German language.
The Grimm brothers also saw French domination as a threat to German culture and believed that the folktales they had collected were expressions of a pure and authentic German spirit.
They considered their projects of collecting folktales and developing the German language as part of the wider effort to oppose French domination and create a German national identify.
Discuss the importance of language and popular traditions in the creatioA of national identity.