Jacob W. Grimm (1785-1863) and his brother Wilhelm K. Grimm (1786-1859) pioneered the study of German philosophy, law, mythology and folklore, but they are best known for their collection of fairy tales. These include such popular stories as Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty and The Frog Prince. Commonly referred to now as Grimm's Fairy Tales, their collection was published as Kinder-und-Hausmarchen (Children's and Household Tales, 1812-15). The brothers were born thirteen months apart in the German province of Hesse, and were inseparable from childhood. Throughout their lives they showed a marked lack of sibling rivalry. Most of their works were written together, a practice begun in childhood when they shared a desk and sustained throughout their adult lives. Since their lives and work were so collaborative, it is difficult now to differentiate between them, but of course there were differences.- Jacob, who studied for a time in Paris, was fascinated with variant spellings of older words. He articulated "Grimm's Law," the rules of which are still used today to determine correspondences between the consonants of German and languages in the Indo-European family. Jacob was bolder and more experimental than Wilhelm, and was rumored to be a lively dancer. Throughout his life, Jacob kept rigidly to schedule and could be extremely focused on work that demanded close attention to detail. He never married, but was a loving uncle to Wilhelm's children. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are buried side by side in Berlin.
A.S. Byatt was born on August 24, 1936 in Sheffield, England. She received a B.A. from Newnham College, Cambridge in 1957, did graduate study at Bryn Mawr College from 1957-58, and attended Somerville College, Oxford from 1958-59. She was a staff member in the extra-mural department at the University of London from 1962-71. From 1968-69, she was also a part-time lecturer in the liberal studies department of the Central School of Art and Design, London. She was a lecturer at University College from 1972-80 and then senior lecturer from 1981-83. She became a full-time writer in 1983. Her works include The Biographer's Tale, The Virgin in the Garden, Babel Tower, A Whistling Woman, and The Children's Book. She also wrote numerous collections of short stories including Sugar and Other Stories, The Matisse Stories, The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, Elementals, and Little Black Book of Stories. Byatt received the English Speaking Union fellowship in 1957-58, the Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1983, the Silver Pen Award for Still Life, and the Booker Prize for Possession: A Romance in 1990.