2.2.1 Brothers Grimm
If you are looking for a sweet, soothing tale to waft you toward dreamland? Look somewhere else. The stories collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800s serve up life as generations of central Europeans knew it—capricious and often cruel. The two brothers, patriots determined to preserve Germanic folktales, were only accidental entertainers. 
Once they saw how the tales bewitched young readers, the Grimms, and editors aplenty after them, started started “fixing” things. Tales gradually got softer, sweeter, and primly moral. Yet all the polishing never rubbed away the solid heart of the stories, now read and loved in more than 160 languages. 
Both brothers were born in Hanau—Jacob on January 4, 1785, and Wilhelm on February 24, 1786—and they were educated at the University of Marburg. Jacob was primarily a scientific philologist, having become interested at the university in medieval literature and the scientific investigation of language. Wilhelm was more a textual and literary critic. After several years in diplomatic and library posts in Kassel, the brothers went in 1830 to the University of Göttingen, where Wilhelm became a librarian and Jacob a lecturer on ancient law, literary history, and philosophy. For political reasons, the brothers returned to Kassel in 1837. In 1841, at the invitation of Frederick William IV of Prussia, they settled in Berlin, where they remained for the rest of their lives as teachers at the university. Wilhelm died December 16, 1859; Jacob died September 20, 1863.
The Grimm brothers were attracted to old German folktales, which they collected from many sources and published as Household Tales (2 volumes, 1812-1815; trans. 1884). The collection, expanded in 1857, is known as Grimm's Fairy Tales. The brothers collaborated on numerous other works. In 1854 they published the first volume of the monumental Deutsches Wörterbuch, the standard German dictionary, which was completed by other scholars in 1954.
They are well known for publishing books containing collections of German fairy tales. English translations of these books remain popular, largely as material for children, though the folk tales the Grimms collected had not previously been considered children's stories. Witches, goblins, trolls and wolves prowl the dark forests of the Grimm's ancient villages and, deeper in the psyche of the insular German city-states of the time. Psychology and cultural anthropologists often read in quite a bit of emotional angst, fear of abandonment, parental abuse, and sexual development in the stories that are often read as bed-time stories in the West.