The Dark Origins of Hansel and Gretel + A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

The Dark Origins of Hansel and Gretel + A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

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Hansel and Gretel is one of the most famous fairy tales of the Western world, and contains one of the most notorious witches. The cannibal witch lives in an edible house in the woods, tricks children into her home, and keeps them prisoner. Add in some evil parents, a gingerbread house, and baking people in ovens and you’ve got herself a pretty scary story. What could possibly have prompted the creation of this twisted tale?

In this episode you’ll learn about witch trials in Germany, the role famine and poverty play in creating monsters, and how the Grimm brothers evolved oral folklore into legendary tales. The real story of Hansel and Gretel is even more scary than you think. #hanselandgretel #Germanfolklore #BrothersGrimm #MonstrumPBS

Written and Hosted by: Dr. Emily Zarka
Director: David Schulte
Executive Producer: Amanda Fox
Producer: Stephanie Noone
Illustrator: Samuel Allen
Editor: Derek Borsheim, Ryan Darbonne
Produced by Spotzen for PBS Digital Studios.

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Fisher, Burton D.. Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel (Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series), Opera Journeys Publishing, 2000.

Grimm, Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm. Kinder- und Hausmärchen. 2 Bände, Band 1, Berlin 1812/15, S. 49-58. ärchen/Kinder-+und+Hausmärchen+(1812-15)/Erster+Band/15.+Hänsel+und+Gretel.

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The Oxford English Dictionary

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Voland, Eckart, et al. “Population Increase and Sex-Biased Parental Investment in Humans: Evidence from 18th-and 19th-Century Germany.” Current Anthropology, vol. 38, no. 1, 1997, pp. 129–135.

Zika, Charles. “Cannibalism and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe: Reading the Visual Images.” History Workshop Journal, no. 44, 1997, pp. 77–105.

Zipes, Jack. Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales, Children, and the Culture Industry. Routledge: 1997.


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