Märchen are stories evolved in German speaking regions in Europe, i.e. those parts of the land we call Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and the neighbouring countries where German was once practiced as people’s language. These are different kinds of folktales. Many translate Märchen as fairy tales. I prefer using folk tale as equivalent for Märchen. These stories do not follow the rules of commonly known fairy tales, which are usually stories of kings and queens, princess and princesses, where the creatures from the world of fantasy do reign. How different are Märchen from fairy tale? Let’s discover in this new series.
Grimm’s Märchen, popular as Grimm’s fairy tales are known to all of us. What most of us do not know is, there were other Märchen collectors in 19th century Europe, whose collections are quite different from that of Grimm brother’s. For this series, we selected stories collected by Ludwig Bechstein (1801-1860), a librarian-archivist by profession and an widely read author during his time. Many of these are, as told earlier, not about fairies, but vivid illustrations of medieval Europe.