Snow White, Katherine Cameron (1874-1965)
Fairy Tale Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who's the fairest of them all?"
There have been several historical personages proposed as inspiration for the Snow White story, first published in 1812 by the Grimm Brothers as "Sneewittchen." According to a study group in Lohr, Bavaria, Snow White is based on Maria Sophia von Erthal, born in 1729 in Lohr am Main, Bavaria. She was the daughter of 18th century landowner, Prince Philipp Christoph von Erthal and his wife, Baroness von Bettendorff. After the death of the Baroness, Prince Philipp went onto marry Claudia Elisabeth Maria von Venningen, Countess of Reichenstein, who was said to dislike her stepchildren. The castle where they lived, now a museum, was home to a ‘talking mirror’, an acoustical toy that could speak (now housed in the Spessart Museum). The mirror, constructed in 1720 by the Mirror Manufacture of the Electorate of Mainz in Lohr, had been in the house during the time that Maria’s stepmother lived there!
Snow White Strathspey
"Snow White" is a nineteenth-century German fairy tale published by in the first edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales in 1812. It was titled in German: Sneewittchen (Schneewittchen) and numbered as Tale 53. The Grimms completed their final revision of the story in 1854.
The fairy tale features such archetypical elements as the magic mirror, the poisoned apple, the glass coffin, matricide, filicide, and the characters of the Evil Queen (Snow White's evil stepmother), the huntsman, a beautiful princess named Snow White, a sleeping enchantment, a handsome prince and the Seven Dwarfs.
For more on the possible historical origins of this story, click the iconic scene from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs full length feature cartoon of 1937.
And for an amusing list of the various names attributed to the dwarfs (which were unnamed in the original Grimm's Brothers' story) click here.