Fairy Tales Weren’t Always For Children

Fairy tales weren’t always for children, as the new movie “Snow White and the Huntsman,” starring Kristen Stewart (pictured), reminds us: ‘In [the original] “Cinderella,” birds peck the stepsisters’ eyes out after the girls cut off their heels and toes to try to fit their feet into the glass slipper. In the 1812 and 1815 editions of “Children’s and Household Tales,” there is a story in which children pretend to be butchers and slaughter the child who plays the part of the pig. … When the Grimms began gathering the first versions of “Snow White” before it was published, it was a tale about a mother who is jealous of her daughter and wants to have her killed. The Brothers Grimm went through eight revisions and by the second edition in 1819, Wilhelm Grimm began embroidering the story, making it more sexist. He has Snow White saying ‘I’ll be your good housekeeper’ to the dwarves; he changed the mother to a stepmother. It changes a lot.’

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