I am loving this book - John Purcell, The Booktopia Book Guru
One of the great untold love stories - how the Grimm brothers discovered their famous fairy tales - filled with drama and passion, and taking place during the Napoleonic Wars.
The Wild Girl tells the story of Dortchen Wild. 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.
Dortchen first met the Grimm brothers in 1805, when she was twelve. One of six sisters, Dortchen lived 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 Grimm 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 Jérôme. The Grimm brothers began collecting fairytales 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.
Dortchen's own father was cruel and autocratic, and he beat and abused her. He frowned on the friendship between his daughters and the poverty-stricken Grimm Brothers. Dortchen had to meet Wilhelm in secret to tell him her stories. All the other sisters married and moved away, but Dortchen had to stay home and care for her sick parents. Even after the death of her father, Dortchen and Wilhelm could not marry – the Grimm brothers were so poor they were surviving on a single meal a day.
After the overthrow of Napoleon and the eventual success of the fairytale collection, Dortchen and Wilhelm were at last able to marry. They lived happily ever after with Wilhelm's elder brother Jakob for the rest of their lives.
About the Author
Kate Forsyth is the internationally bestselling author of more than twenty books, including The Witches of Eileanan and Rhiannon's Ride series for adults, and The Puzzle Ring, The Gypsy Crown, and The Starthorn Tree for children. She has won or been nominated for numerous awards. Her books have been published in 13 different countries, including Japan, Poland, Spain and Turkey, and Kate is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology and recently published Bitter Greens a retelling of the Rapunzel story.
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Reviewed by 3 customers
Displaying reviews 1-3
A great read, couldn't t put it down.
I am sitting here struggling with a review for this magnificent novel. I loved this book and not just most of it, but every single page of the 530 pages - every single page had me enthralled and captivated. The Wild Girl is the story of Dortchen Wild set in early nineteenth-century Germany. Dortchen grew up next door to the Grimm brothers and she gave the Grimm brothers some of their best stories. This story is also set in the time of war and horror in Napoleon Bonaparte's rule which I found gripping and fascinating as well. The love story between Dortchen and Wilhelm Grimm also was magical. Sigh. Kate, you have outdone yourself with this incredible novel and I will be your number 1 advocate telling everyone to give it a read……..Stunning……Incredible…..Dortchen is going to stay with me for a very long time.
"Philippa Gregory, watch out"
Number Of Pages: 560
Published: 18th March 2013
Publisher: Random House Australia
Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 15.5 x 4.3
Weight (kg): 0.68