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Grimms Fairy Tales

Grimms' Fairy Tales - A Book That Inspired Tolkien

By Lucy Crane (Translator)

a book that influenced jrr tolkien

With introduction by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
Illustrated by Walter Crane. First published 1922

In his essay ‘On Fairy Stories’, Tolkien made specific mention of the brothers Grimm. The brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm together travelled rural Germany collecting and publishing old, traditional folktales. They are among the most well-known storytellers of German folklore. Their first collection, 'Children's and Household Tales', was published in 1812.

In the nineteenth century Europe, Britain and the British colonies experienced a flowering of Romanticism in the form of art, architecture, poetry, literature, folklore and folk tales. The latter, in particular, played a major role in the development of Tolkien’s Middle-earth mythology.

Tolkien mined the folklore of the Grimm brothers for literary gems. In his essay he mentioned his love of a tale in this collection by the name of ‘The Juniper Tree’ (renamed ‘The Almond Tree’ for British audiences).

The 1882 edition of Household Stories was beautifully illustrated by Walter Crane (1845-1915) - an influential member of the Arts and Crafts movement, like William Morris, whose fantasy works were also were also among Tolkien’s favourites.

‘Certain artists did provide visual sources for Tolkien’s writing, particularly in their illustrations for the fairy tales that so appealed to him.’ So writes Mary Podles in her article ‘Tolkien and the New Art: Visual Sources for The Lord of the Rings’. ‘Crane illustrated a version of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” that may in several instances have inspired specific scenes and incidents in “The Lord of the Rings”. Often Crane added details to his black-and-white illustrations that were not in Grimm, but proved to be the very ones that stuck in Tolkien’s memory and resurfaced in his novel.'

Crane’s illustrations, which accompanied the fairy tales Tolkien read as a boy, do justice to the richness, strangeness and beauty of the folklore which so fired his imagination.

Visit The Professor's Bookshelf, the home of books that influenced Professor JRR Tolkien.

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grimms fairy tales illustrated

grimms fairy tales illustrated

grimms fairy tales illustrated

grimms fairy tales illustrated

grimms fairy tales illustrated

grimms fairy tales illustrated

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Product Details
  • Publication Date: Jun 01 2013

    ISBN/EAN13: 0987555480 / 9780987555489

    Page Count: 332

    Binding Type: US Trade Paper

    Trim Size: 6" x 9"

    Language: English

    Color: Black and White

    Related Categories: Fiction / Fantasy / Epic

More About the Creators

> Lucy Crane on Wikipedia



Englishwoman Lucy Crane (1842 - 1882), sister of artist Walter Crane, was a translator, an artist and lecturer on art.
From an early age Lucy Crane showed considerable taste and skill in drawing and colouring. Circumstances, however, turned her attention to general educational work. She became an accomplished musician, and was not only distinguished for her delicacy of touch as an executant, but also for the classical refinement of her taste and her knowledge of the earlier Italian and English. She devoted her leisure to literature, writing in both verse and prose. She contributed to the Argosy, and wrote the original verses (‘How Jessie was Lost,’ ‘The Adventures of Puffy,’ ‘Annie and Jack in London,’ and others) and rhymed versions of well-known nursery legends for her brother Walter's coloured toy-books. The selection and arrangement of the accompaniments to the nursery songs in the ‘Baby's Opera’ and ‘Baby's Bouquet’ are also due to her; and a new translation by her of the Hausmärchen of the Brothers Grimm was illustrated by her brother, Walter Crane. In the last few years of her life Lucy Crane delivered lectures in London and the north on Art and the Formation of Taste, which after her death were illustrated and published by Thomas and Walter Crane (1882), together with a short and appreciative notice of the author. She died on 31 March 1882, at the house of a friend at Bolton-le-Moors
More About the Illustrator


Walter Crane (1845–1915) was an English artist and book illustrator. He is considered to be the most prolific and influential children’s book creator of his generation and, along with Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway, one of the strongest contributors to the child's nursery motif that the genre of English children's illustrated literature would exhibit in its developmental stages in the latter 19th century.

His work featured some of the more colourful and detailed beginnings of the child-in-the-garden motifs that would characterize many nursery rhymes and children's stories for decades to come. He was part of the Arts and Crafts movement and produced an array of paintings, illustrations, children's books, ceramic tiles and other decorative arts.


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Leaves of Gold Press publishes international, premium quality fiction and non-fiction in hardcover, paperback and ebook format. Our books are printed on high grade, acid-free, book-grade, opaque paper stock sourced from responsibly managed forests. Our printers are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council™, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™. Utilizing POD technology decreases the number of returns and reduces paper waste, thereby cutting down greenhouse emissions and conserving valuable natural resources. Our books are not endorsed by or affiliated with the Tolkien Estate or Tolkien Enterprises.
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