I don't know how well known is the fact that the original Brothers Grimm's stories were very dark and cruel. They weren't children books. Those original stories were met with great dislike from teachers, parents and religious figures. The Kennedy Center tells us that they mostly disliked the "the gruesome punishments inflicted on the stories' villains. In the original Snow White, for example, the evil stepmother is forced to dance in red-hot iron shoes until she falls down dead."
But their stories gradually became very popular with children. It was a period when children books were in a high demand. The brothers realized the potential their stories have in that area. That prompted the brothers to soften their stories for children.
Besides reading all about these brothers, you can read the original stories.
About the Brothers Grimm and Fairytales
Grimm's Fairy Tales
Guardians of the Fairy Tales: The Brothers Grimm
The brothers picture above is from the Nation Master Encyclopedia:
Nation Master Encyclopedia: Brothers Grimm
October 7, 2008