Wilhelm Carl Grimm (also Karl; 24 February 1786 â" 16 December 1859) was a German author, the younger of the Brothers Grimm.
Life and work
He was born in Hanau, Hesse-Kassel and in 1803 he started studying law at the University of Marburg, one year after his brother Jacob started there. The whole of the lives of the two brothers was passed together. In their school days, they had one bed and one table in common. As students, they had two beds and two tables in the same room. They always lived under one roof, and had their books and property in common.
In 1825, then 39-year-old Wilhelm married a pharmacist's daughter; Henriette Dorothea Wild, also known as Dortchen. Wilhelm's marriage did not change the harmony of the brothers. As Richard Cleasby said, âthey both live in the same house, and in such harmony and community that one might almost imagine the children were common property.â Together, Wilhelm and Henriette had four children: Jacob Grimm (3 April 1826 â" 15 December 1826), Herman Friedrich Grimm (6 January 1828 â" 16 June 1901), Rudolf Georg Grimm (31 March 1830 â" 13 November 1889), and Barbara Auguste Luise Pauline Marie (21 August 1832 â" 9 February 1919).
Wilhelm's character was a complete contrast to that of his brother. As a boy he was strong and healthy, but as he grew up he was attacked by a long and severe illness, which left him weak all his life. His was a less comprehensive and energetic mind than that of his brother, and he had less of the spirit of investigation, preferring to confine himself to some limited and definitely bounded field of work; he utilized everything that bore directly on his own studies, and ignored the rest. These studies were almost always of a literary nature.
Wilhelm took great delight in music, for which his brother had but a moderate liking, and had a remarkable gift of story-telling. Cleasby, in the account of his visit to the brothers quoted above, relates that âWilhelm read a sort of farce written in the Frankfort dialect, depicting the âmalheursâ of a rich Frankfort tradesman on a holiday jaunt on Sunday. It was very droll, and he read it admirably.â Cleasby describes him as âan uncommonly animated, jovial fellow.â He was, accordingly, much sought in society, which he frequented much more than his brother.
From 1837-1841, the Grimm Brothers joined five of their colleague professors at the University of GÃ¶ttingen to form a group known as the GÃ¶ttinger Sieben (The GÃ¶ttingen Seven). They protested against Ernst August, King of Hanover, whom they accused of violating the constitution. All seven were fired by the king.
Wilhelm Grimm died in Berlin of an infection at the age of 73.
- Grimm Brothers' Home Page
- Works by Wilhelm Grimm at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Wilhelm Grimm at Internet Archive
- Works by Wilhelm Grimm at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm, translated by Margaret Hunt (This site is the only one to feature all of the Grimms' notes translated in English along with the tales from Hunt's original edition. Andrew Lang's introduction is also included.)