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The Wild Girl - Kate Forsyth

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I am loving this book - John Purcell, The Booktopia Book Guru

Product Description

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.


Beautiful story


Loved this book. Beautifully written & a great mix of fiction with the historical.



A Timeless Novel


This novel is a wonderful introduction to historical fiction. Enthralling and intriguing, Kate Forsyth once again demonstrates her talents in reimagining the lives of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild'. I finished The Wild Girl in one sitting - it is that sort of book. Right from the first page, the lyrical words enchant the reader and hold them captive until the very end. It is a tangible world of the 1800s, full of darkness and festivals; joy and captivity. Kate Forsyth must be congratulated for the detailed research she has conducted, and for all the hours it must have taken her to complete this masterpiece. Truly an instant classic, The Wild Girl is a novel that will sit on shelves for many years to come.

Sydney, AU


Love, love love!


For romance or historical fiction readers this one pulls at the heart with the plot twists and problems encountered. Full of love and family issues and it's great to read something like this that's based on real people. It pulls you in but I had some issues with the ending.

Adelaide, AU


The Fabulous Kate Forsyth


Was intrigued to read at the end just HOW Kate Forsyth came to write this book - doing her research very well, as always. I also thought the Grimm brothers just traveled around Germany, collecting stories; not at all being aware of all the wars and political changes they all endured. Kate Forsyth writes eloquently as well as making it an easy, engrossing read. Excellent.

Bergen, Norway


Great read


Great service and delivery so quick

Perth, AU


The Wild Girl


Its an interesting incite into the lives of The Brothers Grimm and how they collected their tales. These books started me on a journey of loving books, my mother introduced me to the Grimm Fairy tales and I han't stopped reading since.



A Little Treasure


I loved everything about this book: its title, its beautiful cover, its comfortable-to-hold size, the author's scholarly comments fore and aft, but most of all, the story itself, a delicate, skillfully wrought and conceived tale about one of history's great collectors of tales and his beloved. Once I started reading, I simply could not put it down, and that evening when I turned the last page, I didn't want to put the book down. It had grown on me.

Currumbin Queensland, Australia


Fantastic author


A great read, couldn't t put it down.

Meckering wa




beautiful book

Forster, Au


Stunning - every single page a treasure.


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.

Willow Tree NSW


The Wild Girl

4.7 10


"Philippa Gregory, watch out"
Pamela Freeman

Kate Forsyth

Kate Forsyth is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than twenty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both children and adults.

Her most recent book for adults is The Beast’s Garden, a retelling of Grimms’ Beauty and The Beast set in Nazi Germany. She has also written Bitter Greens, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairytale interwoven with the dramatic, true life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. Her most recent book for children is The Starkin Crown, a heroic fantasy adventure set in the magical world of Estelliana, a place of wild magic and terrifying monsters.

Since The Witches of Eileanan was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She's also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with The Gypsy Crown - which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, The Lightning Bolt, was also a CBCA Notable Book.

Kate's books have been published in 17 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She completed a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, as well as a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing.

Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, A Mother's Offering to her Children. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, a rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback, a bad-tempered black cat, and many thousands of books.

Visit Kate Forsyth's Booktopia Author Page

ISBN: 9781741668490
ISBN-10: 1741668492
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 560
Published: 18th March 2013
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 15.5  x 4.3
Weight (kg): 0.731
Edition Number: 1