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Grimm's Fairy Tales

The Maid of Brakel -

a comparison of the first version (1815)
with the final version (1857)

German title: Dat Mäken von Brakel
English title: The Maid of Brakel
English title: The Maiden from Brakel
Story position: Volume 2, Number 53
Story designation: KHM 139 ("Kinder- und Hausmärchen")

Quick history: There were seven editions of the Grimm's Fairy Tales published in the Grimm Brothers' lifetime. Each edition was presented in two volumes. Volume 1 of the first edition appeared in 1812; Volume 2 of the first edition appeared in 1815. Both volumes of the seventh edition appeared in 1857.

(Take me directly to the full comparison in the original German.)

The Maid of Brakel is written in a German dialect. There are no substantive differences between the first and final versions regarding the words, but there is an interesting change in the punctuation. The first version had exclamations; the final didn't. But the really strange thing is that the exclamations appear in Margaret Hunt's 1884 English translation. Did she feel these spots called for them, or did she glance at the first edition? In any case, I present Hunt's translation below, highlighting the ! that were ultimately removed from the first edition. (The very last one is Hunt's addition.)


The Maid of Brakel -
first version

A GIRL from Brakel once went to St. Anne's Chapel at the foot of the Hinnenberg, and as she wanted to have a husband, and thought there was no one else in the chapel, she sang,

"Oh, holy Saint Anne!
Help me soon to a man.*
Thou know'st him right well,
By Suttmer gate does he dwell,
His hair it is golden,
Thou know'st him right well!"

The clerk, however, was standing behind the altar and heard that, so he cried in a very gruff voice, "Thou shalt not have him! Thou shalt not have him!" The maiden thought that the child Mary who stood by her mother Anne had called out that to her, and was angry, and cried, "Fiddle de dee, conceited thing, hold your tongue, and let your mother speak!"

* Husband.



To identify the differences, I did a word-by-word comparison of the first and final versions in the original German. I used texts provided on the fine "Kinder- und Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm" site ( In the comparisons below, as above, "1:" indicates the first version (1815), and "7:" indicates the seventh and final version (1857).

Und nun, auf Deutsch, mit aller Unterschieden zwischen die erste und letzte Ausgaben . . .


Dat Mäken von Brakel


1: gink
7: gien

mal ’n Mäken von Brakel na de sünt Annen Capellen

1: unner de Hinnenborg
7: uner de Hinnenborg,

un weil et gierne ’n Mann heven wulle un ock

1: meinde,
7: meinde

et wäre süs neimes in de Capellen, sau sank

1: et:
7: et

»O hilge sünte

1: Anne!
7: Anne,

help mie doch bald tom

1: Manne, du
7: Manne. Du

kennst ’n ja

1: wull,
7: wull:

he wuhnt var’m

1: Suttmer Dore,
7: Suttmerdore,

hed gele Hore: du kennst ’n ja

1: wull!«
7: wull.«

De Köster stand awerst hünner

1: den
7: de

Altare un höre dat, da rep he mit ’ner gans schrögerigen

1: Stimme: »du kriggst’n nig! du kriggst’n nig!«
7: Stimme »du kriggst ’n nig, du kriggst ’n nig.«

Dat Mäken awerst

1: meinde, dat Marienkinneken
7: meinde dat Marienkinneken,

dat bie de Mudder Anne steiht, hedde üm dat to ropen, da wor et beuse un

1: reip: »Pepperlepep,
7: reip »pepperlepep,

dumme Blae, halt de

1: Schnuten,
7: Schnuten

un lat de Möhme kühren (die Mutter reden) .«


























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