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The Brothers Grimm: Two Lives, One Legacy Hardcover – October 15, 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What emerges most clearly in this biography of the men who preserved "once upon a time" for generations of readers is their distinctly different personalities and enduring friendship. The elder Jacob Grimm proved the natural scholar, writing widely on poetry, music and language, while Wilhelm possessed a gift for teaching and storytelling. The two were inseparable; even after Wilhelm married, Jacob lived with the couple. With conversational language and colorful historical references, Hettinga (Presenting Madeleine L'Engle) makes the account accessible ("Once upon a time, a very real time in fact, a time when George Washington was still General Washington and was just thinking about becoming the first president of the United States," he begins). He effectively places the brothers' childhood in the context of what is now Germany, but at the time was one of numerous fiefdoms within the Holy Roman Empire thus explaining the many mentions of kings and queens in the tales the siblings collected. The brothers did not turn to studying the German fairy tales that would endure as their legacy until the French-controlled government forbade all Germans from working and writing in their own language. "They collected the fairy tales because they hoped the stories would help remind their countrymen of what it meant to be German," the author asserts. Black-and-white etchings, paintings and drawings round out the volume, which ably portrays the personalities of the two brothers and those who influenced them. Ages 9-14.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Once upon a time, a turbulent time in Europe when the Holy Roman Empire's power was waning and Napoleon's armies were marching into country after country, two brothers with an exceptional devotion to scholarship, to their cultural heritage, and to each other developed an interest in collecting and preserving the German folk and fairy tales they feared would be lost by a generation uninterested in telling the old stories and singing the old songs. Many adult readers are familiar with aspects of the brothers' lives, including their work as lexicographers and librarians, but no book for young readers presents the Grimms' intertwined lives against the larger background of early 19th-century Europe in such fascinating detail as this absorbing new biography. It is packed with information about European political and social conditions and the siblings' enormous personal struggles with poverty and ill health. Students will find it an excellent resource for term papers, yet it is written so clearly that it makes for enjoyable pleasure reading. Illustrated with numerous archival photographs and drawings of significant people and places in the men's lives, the text is followed by an annotated bibliography of their publications, the author's "A Few Words About Sources," and a time line that clearly ties events in the Grimms' lives to world events. Impressive for its skillful combination of scholarship and readability, this biography belongs in all collections.

Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; First Edition edition (October 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618055991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618055999
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,118,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It's a great title for this book, "Two Lives One Legacy." And this is a beautiful story on the lives of the two brothers. It was not easy for me to find a book on their lives...and when I learned of this book, it was not easy to get a hold of it...

Most remember Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm for the stories they published, and sometimes myth intrudes even with this. But they lived great and wonderful lives, and this book tells all.

From childhood, this book covers their lives in an easy read. It offers a whole new light on the lives and times of, 'The Brother's Grimm."

There is not a movie on the, "true" story of the two brother's, I hope one will be made soon.
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Format: Hardcover
Donald Hettinga's Brothers Grimm presents a fine biographical coverage of the era and lives of the Brothers Grimm and the stories they recorded. Photos, archival illustrations, and plenty of details on the brothers' relationship pack a 179-page, engrossing account.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It arrived timely. My daughter found the book very helpful with her school research project.
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