“The Girl with Silver Hands” (a painting inspired by the “Handless Maiden” tale from the Brothers Grimm) is now appearing in its latest incarnation: gracing the cover of the soon-to-be-released scholarly study, Disability, Deformity, and Disease in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Ann Schmiesing. The book is published by Wayne State University Press and will be available November 3, 2014 from Amazon. Ann Schmiesing is associate professor of German and Scandinavian literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder and author of Norway’s Christiania Theatre, 1827-1867: From Danish Showhouse to National Stage.
From the publisher:
“Although dozens of disabled characters appear in the Grimms’ Children’s and Household Tales, the issue of disability in their collection has remained largely unexplored by scholars. In Disability, Deformity, and Disease in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, author Ann Schmiesing analyzes various representations of disability in the tales and also shows how the Grimms’ editing (or “prostheticizing”) of their tales over seven editions significantly influenced portrayals of disability and related manifestations of physical difference, both in many individual tales and in the collection overall.”
From Maria Tatar, John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University and author of The Annotated Brothers Grimm (definitely one for the bookshelf if you’re a fairy tale fan):
“…Schmiesing locates the entire question of disability and prosthesis in a fascinating socio-historical context that enriches our understanding of the Grimms’ tales in profound way. It’s as if someone had deftly rotated the critical kaleidoscope of the last decade to create a completely new picture of the cultural stakes in the Grimms’ tales. A breakthrough work for fairy-tale scholarship.”
My personal thanks goes out to the designer, Bryce Schimanski, for a gorgeous design job incorporating one of my favorite watercolor paintings. Museum-quality prints of “The Girl with Silver Hands” are available here.