Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm, as Arthur Rackham saw them in 1909
This is not the first edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, illustrated by Rackham, yet it’s the most popular one, especially among collectors. While the first edition got only one color page and made significant breakthrough for the illustrator, the 1909 edition brought 40 (!) color pictures and numerous redrawings and remasterings of old illustrations with an addition of many new ones.
Arthur Rackham, in 1909 already an established name who stayed in demand right to the end of his life, actually wrote a short not at the beginning of the book, emphasizing how much work he invested in this seemingly simple reprint which became a collectible edition right after the publishing. It’s very hard to find undamaged copy of 1909 version of this book and we are glad to offer all illustrations on-line.
You’ll see they represent an interesting mosaic of Rackam’s work, starting with line drawings, among which many from the first edition from 1900 served as the base for color pictures nine years later, following by numerous silhouettes, which were so masterfully used for Evans’ rewritings of The Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, and, of course full color plates, the first ones that were torn out of library copies.
The King could not contain himself for joy
But, as already said, they are all here for your pleasure. This is undoubtedly not the best Rackham’s work. It’s too eclectic and simply uneven for such title. On the other hand, if you truly want to learn about probably the most influential illustrator of 20th century, it’s definitely the book with all it takes to get accustomed with his great creative power.
All fairy tales are listed as they were listed in the book, with original titles as presented, not as we know them now. Cinderella, for instance, was titled Ashenputtel. Some of the illustrations were accompanied by text, probably written by illustrator. The text is always under the picture (in italics, just like at the frontispiece presented above – the only color illustration from the first edition).
Some fairy tales were not illustrated. They are still presented with titles and notes (no illustration). Under many of the fairy tales you’ll find links leading to related content, like stand-alone editions of specific fairy tales or other interesting projects.
Here we go.
The Golden Gird
Away they flew over stock and stone, at such a pace that his liair whistled in the wind
The Prince carried off the beautiful Maiden on the Golden Horse
Hans in Luck
Just then a butcher came along the road, trundling a young pig in a wheel-barrow
Jorinda and Joringel
By day she made herself into a cat
Or a screech owl
At last the old woman came back, and said in a droning voice: ‘Greeting to thee, Zachiel!’
The Bremen Town Musicians
A short time after they came upon a Cat, sitting in the road, with a face as long as a wet week
The Ass brayed, the Hound barked, the Cat mewed, and the Cock crowed
The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean
Once there was a poor old woman who lived in a village
‘The Thirteenth Fairy’
But round the castle a hedge of briar roses began to grow up
The young Prince said, ‘I am not afraid; I am determined to go and look upon the lovely Briar Rose.’
The Dog and the Sparrow
On the road he met a Sparrow
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
On the opposite side of the lake stood a splendid brightly-lighted Castle
The Fisherman and his Wife
There was once a Fisherman, who lived with his Wife in a miserable little hovel close to the sea
‘Flounder, Flounder in the sea, Prythee, hearken unto me’
The Wren and the Bear
At the third sting the Fox screamed, and down went his tail between his legs
The Frog Prince
So she seized him with two fingers, and carried him upstairs
The Cat and Mouse in Partnership
The Cat stole away behind the city walls to the church
Alas! dear Falada, there thou hangest
Blow, blow, little breeze, And Conrad’s hat seize
The Adventures of Chanticleer and Partlet
Now we will go up the hill and have a good feast before the squirrel carries off all the nuts
When he went over the wall he was terrified to see the Witch before him
The Witch climbed up
She did not go once but many times, backwards and forwards to the well
The Valiant Tailor
‘Wait a bit, and I ‘ll give it you!’ So saying, he struck out at them mercilessly
Pulling the piece of soft cheese out of his pocket, he squeezed it till the moisture ran out
They worked themselves up into such a rage that they tore up trees by the roots, and hacked at each other till they both fell dead
Hansel and Grethel
Hansel picked up the glittering white pebbles and filled his pockets with them
All at once the door opened and an old, old Woman, supporting herself on a crutch, came hobbling out
‘Stupid goose!’ cried the Witch. ‘The opening is big enough; you can see that I could get into it myself’
Hansel put out a knuckle-bone, and the old Woman, whose eyes were dim, could not see, and thought it was his finger, and she was much astonished that he did not get fat
The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage
The Mouse had to carry water, while the Sausage did the cooking
The Bird took the wood and flew sadly home with it
At last she came to a little house, out of which an old woman was looking
So the lazy girl went home, but she was quite covered with pitch
Red Riding Hood
When she got to the wood, she met a Wolf
‘O Grandmother, what big ears you have got,’ she said
The Robber Bridegroom
They hurried away as quickly as they could
At last she reached the cellar, and there she found an old, old worn with a shaking head
When Tom had said good-bye to his Father they went away with him.
Then all at once the door sprang open, and in stepped a little Mannikin.
Round the fire an indescribably ridiculous little man was leaping, hopping on one leg, and singing
Then he ran after him, still holding the carving-knife, and cried, ‘Only one, only one!’
The Old Man and His Grandson
The Little Peasant
The Old Man had to sit by himself, and ate his food from a wooden bowl.
Fred and Kate
Kate ran after him, and chased him a good way over the fields.
The Maiden fetched the magic wand, and then she took her step-sister’s head, and dropped three drops of blood from it.
The quicker he played, the higher she had to jump.
‘Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Who is fairest of us all.’
In the evening the seven Dwarfs came back.
The Dwarfs, when they came in the evening, found Snowdrop lying or the ground.
The scullions brought live coals, which he had to eat till the flames poured out of his mouth.
When she saw the pickaxe just above her head, Clever Elsa burst into tears.
The Jew Among the Thorns
The Jew was forced to spring up and begin to dance.
Dancing as hard as he could.
Ashenputtel goes to the ball.
The White Snake
The Fishes, in their joy, stretched up their heads above the water, and promised to reward him.
The Wolf and the Seven Kids
The Seven Kids and their mother capered and danced round the spring in their joy.
The Queen Bee
The Three Sleeping Princesses.
The Ducks which he had once saved, dived and brought up the key from the depths.
The Elves and the Shoemaker
The Wolf and the Man
So the rich Brother had to put his Brother’s Turnip into a cart, and have it taken home.
When he got home he had the rope in his hand, but there was nothing at the end of it.
The Three Languages
On the way he passed a swamp, in which a number of Frogs were croaking.
The Fox and the Cat
The Cat crept stealthily up to the topmost branch.
The Four Clever Brothers
So the four Brothers took their sticks in their hands, bade their Father good-bye, and passed out of the town gate.
The King’s only daughter had been carried off by a Dragon.
They found the Princess still on the rock, but the Dragon was asleep with his head on her lap.
The Lady and the Lion
She went away accompanied by the Lions.
The Fox and the Horse
Then the Horse sprang up, and dragged the Lion away behind him.
The Blue Light
Before long the Witch came by riding at a furious pace on a tom cat.
The Golden Castle of Stromberg.
One day he saw three Robbers fighting.
The Golden Goose
There stands an old tree; cut it down, and you will find something at the roots.
So now there were seven people running behind Simpleton and his Goose.
And so they followed up hill and down dale after Simpleton and his Goose.
The King could no longer withhold his daughter.
The Water of Life
“Good Dwarf, can you not tell me where my brothers are.”
The Twelve Huntsmen
The King of the Golden Mountain
The Son made a circle, and his Father and he took their places within it, and the little black Mannikin appeared.
Once upon a time a poor Peasant, named Crabb, was taking a load of wood drawn by two oxen to the town for sale.
The Seven Ravens
The good little Sister cut off her own tiny finger, fitted it into the lock, and succeeded in opening it
When she entered she met a Dwarf.
But they said one after another: ‘Halloa! Who has been eating off my plate? Who has been drinking out of my cup?’
The Ravens coming home.
The Marriage of Mrs. Reynard
Does the gentleman wear red breeches, and has he a pointed muzzle?
But the Old Woman was a witch.
He tied them all together and drove them along till he came to a mill.
The Youth Who Could not Shudder
Crowds of black cats and dogs swarmed out of every corner.
Then the Youth took the axe and split the anvil with one blow, catching in the Old Man’s beard at the same time.
The Beggar took her by the hand and led her away.
She immediately clutched at his cap to pull it off; but he held it on with both hands.
He called three times, ‘Iron Hans,’ as loud as he could.
This concludes the book of Grimms’ Fairy Tales illustrated by Arthur Rackham, 1909 edition. If you like the post, please share it with your friends. It’s a classic and one of the most influential works by (according to many) very likely the best illustrator of 20th century.