The Grimms' Fairy Tales, originally known as the Children's and Household Tales (German: Kinder- und Hausmärchen, pronounced [ˌkɪndɐ ʔʊnt ˈhaʊsmɛːɐ̯çən]), is a collection of fairy tales by the Grimm brothers or "Brothers Grimm", Jacob and Wilhelm, first published on 20 December 1812. The first edition contained 86 stories, and by the seventh edition in 1857, had 211 unique fairy tales.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were two of nine children from their mother Dorothea (Née Zimmer) and father Philipp Wilhelm Grimm. Philipp was a highly regarded district magistrate in Steinau, near Kassel. Jacob and Wilhelm were sent to school for a classical education once they were of age, while their father was working. They were very hard-working pupils throughout their education. They followed their father’s footsteps and started to pursue a degree in law. However, in 1796, their father died at the age of 44 from pneumonia. This was a tragic time for the Grimms because the family lost all financial support and relied on their aunt, Henriette Zimmer, and grandfather, Johanne Hermann Zimmer. At the age of 11, Jacob was compelled to be head of the household and provide for his family. After down-sizing their home because of financial reasons, Henriette sent Jacob and Wilhelm to study at the prestigious high school, Lyzeum, in Kassel. In school, their grandfather wrote to them saying that because of their current situation, they needed to apply themselves industriously to secure their future welfare.[