National Geographic : 1999 Dec
LING ter, Jacob could barely support his five lings. Wilhelm was sick from asthma and veak heart and was unable to work. In 1812, Year the fairy tales were first published, e Grimms were surviving on a single meal day-a hardship that could explain why many of the characters in their book suffer am hunger. Though new editions of the fairy tales ntinued to appear until 1857, two years fore Wilhelm's death, collection of almost the oral tales took place when the brothers ,re in their impressionable 20s. Altogether some 40 persons delivered tales the Grimms. Many of the storytellers came the Grimms' house in Kassel. The brothers rticularly welcomed the visits of Dorothea ehmann, a widow who walked to town to sell produce from her garden. An innkeeper's daughter, Viehmann had grown up listening to stories from travelers on the road to Frankfurt. Among her treasures was "Aschenputtel" Cinderella. With the exception of Viehmann, the broth ers rarely identified their correspondents. Their names and the tales credited to them were learned in most cases only after careful study of the margin notes in the brothers' personal copies of the Tales. The true identity of one of the most important informants-a certain "Marie" came to light only in the mid-1970s. Marie was credited in the notes with narrating many of the most famous tales: "Rotkappchen" (Little Red Riding Hood), "Schneewittchen" (Snow White), and "Dornr6schen" (Sleeping Beaty).