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The Wild Girl

written by Kate Forsyth

Vintage | ISBN 9781741668490

Paperback – 560 pages

$32.95

Member’s price: $29.66
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One of the great untold love stories of history, filled with drama and passion, and taking place during a time of war, tyranny, and terror. The Wild Girl tells the story of Dortchen Wild, the girl who loved Wilhelm Grimm. Growing up next door to the Grimm brothers in Hesse-Cassel, a small German kingdom, Dortchen told Wilhelm some of the most powerful and compelling stories in the famous fairytale collection. Their romance is one of the great untold love stories of history, filled with drama and passion, and taking place during a time of war, tyranny, and terror. Dortchen first met the Grimm brothers in 1805, when she was twelve. One of six sisters, Dortchen grew up next door to the five Grimm brothers in the medieval quarter of Cassel, a town famous for its grand royal palace, its colossal statue of Herkules, and a fairytale castle of turrets and spires built as a love nest for the Prince-Elector's mistress. Dortchen was the same age as Lotte Grimm, the only girl in the family, and the two became best friends. In 1806, Hesse-Cassel was invaded by the French. Napoleon created a new Kingdom of Westphalia, under the rule of his dissolute young brother J r me . The Grimm brothers began collecting fairy tales that year, wanting to save the old stories told in spinning-circles and by the fire from the domination of French culture. Dortchen was the source of many of the tales in the Grimm brother's first collection of fairy tales, which was published in 1812, the year of Napoleon's disastrous march on Russia. Stories told to Wilhelm by Dortchen include Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, The Frog King, Six Swans, Sweetheart Roland (about a girl whose betrothed forgets her) and The Singing Bone (about a murdered boy whose bones are used to make a harp that then sings to accuse his murderers). She also told a very gruesome version of Bluebeard called Fitcher's Bird, the primary difference being that the heroine saves herself and her sisters.

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