Five Hundred New Fairy Tales Found in Germany

Posted on March 7, 2012

A huge collection of 500 new fairy tales has been discovered in Germany. The Guardian reports that the collection - gathered by local historian Franz Xaver von Schonwerth in the 1850s - was found locked away in an archive in Regensburg, Germany where it sat unnoticed for over 150 years until historian Erika Eichenseer found it.

The Guardian says Franz Xaver von Schonwerth was busy gathering his collection of fairytales around the same time the better known Grimm brothers were gathering their collection. The Grimm brothers revered Von Schonwerth. Jacob Grimm reportedly told King Maximilian II of Bavaria in 1885 that Von Schonwerth was the "only person who could replace him in his and his brother's work."

Many of the stories in Von Schonwerth's collection are found nowhere else. The tales include stories for adults as well as children. There are stories about magical animals, princesses, evil witches, farmers and more. In one of the stories a young woman escapes a witch by turning herself into a pond. The witch then drinks the pond and swallows the woman along with it. The woman then escapes by cutting herself out of the witch with a knife.

The Guardian has published one of the fairy tales called "The Turnip Princess." You can read it here.

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