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Household Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm translated by Margaret Hunt

Jacob Grimm
Wilhelm Grimm

Household Tales
translated by Margaret Hunt (1884)


Note: While Hunt's translation of the Grimms' Household Tales appears in many places on the web, SurLaLune is the first and only site to present the entire text from the 1884 edition, including Hunt's preface, Andrew Lang's introduction, and the extensive notes from the Grimms, translated by Hunt. Hunt has been one of the few translators to offer the notes in English in almost two centuries of English translations.

The notes for each tale appear at the bottom of the individual tale's page. They also appear in the Notes section in their entirety.


Introduction by Andrew Lang

1 The Frog King, or Iron Henry

2 Cat and Mouse in Partnership

3 Our Lady's Child

4 The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was

5 The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids

6 Faithful John

7 The Good Bargain

8 The Wonderful Musician

9 The Twelve Brothers

10 The Pack of Ragamuffins

11 Little Brother and Little Sister

12 Rapunzel

13 The Three Little Men in the Forest

14 The Three Spinning Women

15 Hansel and Grethel

16 The Three Snake-Leaves

17 The White Snake

18 The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean

19 The Fisherman and His Wife

20 The Valiant Little Tailor

21 Cinderella

22 The Riddle

23 The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage

24 Mother Holle

25 The Seven Ravens

26 Little Red-Cap

27 The Bremen Town Musicians

28 The Singing Bone

29 The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs

30 The Louse and the Flea

31 The Girl Without Hands

32 Clever Hans

33 The Three Languages

34 Clever Elsie

35 The Tailor in Heaven

36 The Wishing-table, the Gold-ass, and the Cudgel in the Sack

37 Thumbling

38 The Wedding of Mrs. Fox

39 The Elves

40 The Robber Bridegroom

41 Herr Korbes

42 The Godfather

43 Frau Trude

44 Godfather Death

45 Thumbling as Journeyman

46 Fitcher's Bird

47 The Juniper-Tree

48 Old Sultan

49 The Six Swans

50 Little Briar-Rose

51 Foundling-Bird

52 King Thrushbeard

53 Little Snow-White

54 The Knapsack, the Hat, and the Horn

55 Rumpelstiltskin

56 Sweetheart Roland

57 The Golden Bird

58 The Dog and the Sparrow

59 Frederick and Catherine

60 The Two Brothers

61 The Little Peasant

62 The Queen Bee

63 The Three Feathers

64 The Golden Goose

65 Allerleirauh

66 The Hare's Bride

67 The Twelve Huntsmen

68 The Thief and His Master

69 Jorinde and Joringel

70 The Three Children of Fortune

71 How Six Men Got On in the World

72 The Wolf and the Man

73 The Wolf and the Fox

74 Gossip Wolf and the Fox

75 The Fox and the Cat

76 The Pink

77 Clever Grethel

78 The Old Man and His Grandson

79 The Water-Nix

80 The Death of the Little Hen

81 Brother Lustig

82 Gambling Hansel

83 Hans in Luck

84 Hans Married

85 The Gold-Children

86 The Fox and the Geese

87 The Poor Man and the Rich Man

88 The Singing, Springing Lark

89 The Goose-Girl

90 The Young Giant

91 The Gnome

92 The King of the Golden Mountain

93 The Raven

94 The Peasant's Clever Daughter

95 Old Hildebrand

96 The Three Little Birds

97 The Water of Life

98 Dr. Know-All

99 The Spirit in the Bottle

100 The Devil's Sooty Brother

101 Bearskin

102 The Willow-Wren and the Bear

103 Sweet Porridge

104 Wise Folks

105 Stories about Snakes

106 The Poor Miller's Boy and the Cat

107 The Two Travellers

108 Hans the Hedgehog

109 The Shroud

110 The Jew Among Thorns

111 The Skilful Huntsman

112 The Flail from Heaven

113 The Two Kings' Children

114 The Cunning Little Tailor

115 The Bright Sun Brings It to Light

116 The Blue Light

117 The Wilful Child

118 The Three Army Surgeons

119 The Seven Swabians

120 The Three Apprentices

121 The King's Son Who Feared Nothing

122 Donkey Cabbages

123 The Old Woman in the Wood

124 The Three Brothers

125 The Devil and His Grandmother

126 Ferdinand the Faithful

127 The Iron Stove

128 The Lazy Spinner

129 The Four Skilful Brothers

130 One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes

131 Fair Katrinelje and Pif Paf Poltrie

132 The Fox and the Horse

133 The Shoes that Were Danced to Pieces

134 The Six Servants

135 The White Bride and the Black One

136 Iron John

137 The Three Black Princesses

138 Knoist and His Three Sons

139 The Maid of Brakel

140 Domestic Servants

141 The Lambkin and the Little Fish

142 Simeli Mountain

143 Going A-Travelling

144 The Donkey

145 The Ungrateful Son

146 The Turnip

147 The Old Man Made Young Again

148 The Lord's Animals and the Devil's

149 The Beam

150 The Old Beggar-Woman

151 The Three Sluggards

151 (A) The Twelve Idle Servants

152 The Shepherd Boy

153 The Star-Money

154 The Stolen Farthings

155 Brides on Their Trial

156 Odds and Ends

157 The Sparrow and His Four Children

158 The Story of Schlauraffen Land

159 The Ditmarsh Tale of Wonders

160 A Riddling Tale

161 Snow-White and Rose-Red

162 The Wise Servant

163 The Glass Coffin

164 Lazy Harry

165 The Griffin

166 Strong Hans

167 The Peasant in Heaven

168 Lean Lisa

169 The Hut in the Forest

170 Sharing Joy and Sorrow

171 The Willow-Wren

172 The Sole

173 The Bittern and Hoopoe

174 The Owl

175 The Moon

176 The Duration of Life

177 Death's Messengers

178 Master Pfriem

179 The Goose-Girl at the Well

180 Eve's Various Children

181 The Nixie of the Mill-Pond

182 The Little Folks' Presents

183 The Giant and the Tailor

184 The Nail

185 The Poor Boy in the Grave

186 The True Sweetheart

187 The Hare and the Hedgehog

188 The Spindle, the Shuttle, and the Needle

189 The Peasant and the Devil

190 The Crumbs on the Table

191 The Sea-Hare

192 The Master Thief

193 The Drummer

194 The Ear of Corn

195 The Grave Mound

196 Old Rinkrank

197 The Crystal Ball

198 Maid Maleen

199 The Boot of Buffalo Leather

200 The Golden Key

Children's Legends

Legend 1 St. Joseph in the Forest

Legend 2 The Twelve Apostles

Legend 3 The Rose

Legend 4 Poverty and Humility Lead to Heaven

Legend 5 God's Food

Legend 6 The Three Green Twigs

Legend 7 Our Lady's Little Glass

Legend 8 The Aged Mother

Legend 9 The Heavenly Wedding

Legend 10 The Hazel Branch


Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. Household Tales. Margaret Hunt, translator. London: George Bell, 1884, 1892. 2 volumes.

About the Grimms
from The Quest for the Earliest Fairy Tales
by Heidi Anne Heiner

Many scholars continued to collect and study folktales between the time of Charles Perrault and the 1800s. They laid the groundwork for the fairy tale renaissance in the 19th century. The renaissance was led by two brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, who solidified the popularity of fairy tale collecting and publishing with their Kinder- und Haus-märchen (Children's and Household Tales) in 1812-15. Today, the Grimms' collection of fairy tales remain popular in countless editions, making it one of the all time bestselling books in the German and English languages. Many of the today's most popular fairy tales come from the Grimms, including The Frog King, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Bremen Town Musicians, Hansel and Gretel and Rapunzel. The collection also contains tales similar to those recorded by Charles Perrault, especially Aschenputtel (like Cinderella) and Briar Rose (like Sleeping Beauty).

The Grimms' collection went through seven editions during their lifetime. The seventh and final edition of 1857 includes 200 numbered stories plus ten "Children's Legends." The brothers edited the tales for subsequent editions after seeing the book embraced by children and adults. Their translators also edited the tales so that many editions of the tales in English, German and other languages are considerably different from the tales originally collected by the brothers. Recommended further reading about the Grimms' collecting and editing methods can be found in The Brothers Grimm by Jack Zipes, The Reception of the Grimms' Fairy Tales edited by Donald Haase, The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar and The Classic Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar. There are many more excellent articles and books about the Grimms, but these are some of the best and most readily available to most readers. D. L. Ashliman also has an excellent section devoted to the Grimms on his Grimm Brothers' Home Page.

The first translation of Grimms into English came as German Popular Tales in 1823, translated by Edgar Taylor and illustrated by George Cruikshank. Taylor took great liberties with the text and only offered a selection of tales, not the complete collection published in German.

Of the early translations of the tales, Margaret Hunt provides what is the most accurate and complete early translation of the Grimms into English (1884). Hunt also translated the Grimms' extensive notes to the tales. Hunt still took liberties with the text, however, changing content of the tales and the notes when she disagreed with the original text. Her changes are minimal compared to the other translations available at the time since Hunt had a scholarly intent with her translation. Still, of all the translations from the 19th century, hers is the most complete and overall the most accurate. Her work is also out of copyright and available on the web, although the notes haven't been included with most internet versions or print editions of her translation. SurLaLune is the first website to offer the notes along with the tales. In my experience, the greatest percentage of unattributed English translations in print and on the web are either direct reprints of Hunt's translation or edited derivatives of her original work.

The remaining most significant translation of Grimms from the 19th century was done by Lucy Crane to accompany her brother Walter Crane's illustrations of the tales in Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm (1886). (An online edition is also available through Project Gutenberg). The Cranes' edition contains only a selection of the tales, but Lucy Crane's translation is charming and captures the spirit of the tales along with her brother's illustrations.

For further reading on 19th century translations including commentary on the translators' source materials, I recommend reading Martin Sutton's The Sin-Complex: A Critical Study of English Versions of the Grimms' Kinder- und Hausmärchen in the Nineteenth Century. While difficult to purchase, this book is available in many academic libraries and should be attainable through interlibrary loan services.

For the curious, I also recommend Grimm's Grimmest which contains 19 early versions of the Grimms' tales before they were edited and cleaned-up for younger audiences by the brothers. The accompanying modern illustrations emphasize the gruesome aspects, so this edition is not recommended for youngest readers. It isn't a scholarly work; it is intended for general audiences, especially those interested in horror stories.

In the 21st century, two of the most accurate and best translations of the Grimms' tales are by Ralph Manheim and Jack Zipes. The Zipes translation, currently in a third edition, includes extra fragments and earlier manuscripts, but many readers prefer Manheim's translations. The choice is aesthetic and should be decided by the individual reader. However, if you are looking for a reliable English translation, I recommend selecting either one or both of these translations.

Note: Many scholars prefer to use the Grimms' term märchen (translation: wonder tales or magic tales) to refer to fairy tales, considering the term to be more accurate with less problematic connotations.

Further Reading

Haase, Donald, editor. The Reception of Grimms' Fairy Tales: Responses, Reactions, Revisions. Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1993.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

Hettinga, Donald R. The Brothers Grimm: Two Lives, One Legacy. New York: Clarion Books, 2001.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

Sutton, Martin. The Sin-Complex: A Critical Study of English Versions of the Grimms' Kinder- und Hausmärchen in the Nineteenth Century. Kassel: BrGrimm-Gesellschaft e.V., 1996.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

Opie, Iona and Peter. The Classic Fairy Tales. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.

Paradiz, Valerie. Clever Maids: The Secret History of the Grimm Fairy Tales. New York: Basic Books, 2004.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

Tatar, Maria M. The Annotated Brothers Grimm. New York: W. W. Norton, 2004.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

Tatar, Maria M., ed. The Classic Fairy Tales. New York: W. W. Norton, 1999.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.

Tatar, Maria M. The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales. Princeton: Princeton University, 1987.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.

Warner, Marina.  From Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers.  London: Chatto & Windus, 1994.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.

Zipes, Jack. The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.

Zipes, Jack, ed. The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm. New York: W. W. Norton, 2001.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.


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Complete Grimms translated by Jack Zipes

Grimms' Tales for Young and Old: The Complete Stories translated by Ralph Manheim

Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm translated by Jack Zipes

Great Fairy Tale Tradition by Jack Zipes

The Annotated Brothers Grimm edited by Maria Tatar

Grimm's Grimmest

The Brothers Grimm: Two Lives, One Legacy  by Donald R. Hettinga

The Classic Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar

The Classic Fairy Tales by Iona and Peter Opie

From the Beast to the Blonde by Marina Warner


©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales
Page created 6/20/07; Last updated 10/11/07