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Snow White

"Snow White" is a 19th-century German fairy tale which is today known widely across the Western world. The Brothers Grimm published it in 1812 in the first edition of their collection Grimms' Fairy Tales. It was titled in German: Sneewittchen (in modern orthography Schneewittchen) and numbered as Tale 53. The name Sneewittchen was Low German and in the first version it was translated with Schneeweißchen. The Grimms completed their final revision of the story in 1854.

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The Grimm's brothers collected fairy tales, changing them slightly as they went. Snow White is based on a story by another German author. In his story, Snow White is cursed by a fairy to die at the age of seven. On her seventh birthday, Snow White's mother is brushing the girl's hair, and the comb gets stuck in Snow White's head making her appear dead. The mother locks her daughter's body in seven coffins and locks those coffins in a vault. She then dies of grief, leaving the key with her brother. After years have past, the brother's wife finds the key and looks in the vault. She sees Snow White, who has aged into a beautiful young woman as she slept, and thinks that her husband is keeping the girl to have sex with her. The wife unlocks the coffin and pulls the girl out by her hair, dislodging the comb and waking Snow White. In her anger, the wife cuts off Snow White's hair and whips her with it. She keeps the girl as a slave beating her daily so that she is bruised and her lips bleed as if she had "eaten pigeons." Snow White is about to kill herself, but her uncle hears her telling her story to her doll and he banishes his wife and finds medical care for his niece and marries her off to a rich man

Contributed by Katie Rose Palmer

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