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Fairy Tales Repository

Collected Item: ““The Maiden without Hands.” Grimm’s Household Fairy Tales, translated by Ella Boldey, with illustrations by R. André, New York: McLoughlin Bros., 1890, pp. 150-154.”

Full bibliographic citation (MLA)

“The Maiden without Hands.” Grimm’s Household Fairy Tales, translated by Ella Boldey, with illustrations by R. André, New York: McLoughlin Bros., 1890, pp. 150-154.

Title of the complete book/anthology (not a single chapter/fairy tale)

Grimm’s Household Fairy Tales

The name of the author or editor of the complete book/anthology (leave blank if none are listed)

Translated by Ella Boldey

Illustrator(s) of the book/anthology (leave blank if none are listed)

R. André

City where the book/anthology was published

New York

The country where the book/anthology was published (use United States for US publications)


The publisher of the book/anthology (as written on the title page)

McLoughlin Bros

Date of publication (or date range from the library catalog, if no dates are listed in the book)


The decade the book was published (use the drop down menu)


The fairy tale type (use the drop down menu)

Persecuted Maidens

The author of the fairy tale/chapter (leave blank if none is listed). If there is only an author for the whole book/anthology listed, use that author again for this entry

Translated by Ella Boldey

What is special about this version of the tale?

This tale is a translation from the original Brothers Grimm fairy tales, that is about nameless characters including a maiden whose hands get cut off by her own father in order to follow through with a promise. This version has a heavy emphasis on prayer and religion, shown by minimal illustrations of angels, that guide the tale and ultimately lead the maiden to a happy ending of being reunited with the king (her husband). There is also a strong emphasis on an old man deceiving the main characters, causing all large issues within the plot.

A brief summary of the plot that highlights any unique variations

The tale begins with an old man, the antagonist, who approaches a poor miller about an exchange for wealth for the miller’s daughter (the miller is unaware that he is promising his daughter currently). Three years later the old man came to claim his reward three different times but could not take the maiden because she had water on her. Threats from the old man caused the miller to chop off his daughters’ hands since there were tears on them. Ultimately, the old man gave up on his prize, leading to the handless maiden leaving her home and accidentally reaching the kings’ garden. By praying, an angel was sent to help the maiden retrieve food from the garden, and she was later discovered/rescued by the king. The king and maiden got married and she was given silver hands. Years later when the king left for war, the maiden had a baby and a messenger was sent with a letter that delivered the news. On the way the messenger stopped at the old mans, and the old man consistently replaced the messages with terrible orders including to murder the maiden and their child. The king’s mom couldn’t follow through with this, so she sent the maiden and child into the woods. Again, the maiden prayed which allowed the two of them to be taken care of in an angels’ house for seven years until the king finally discovered what the old man had done and found his wife and son. The tale concludes with a second happy ending of festivities and rejoice in the kingdom.

The original source of the fairy tale, if easily identifiable (Straparola, Basile, de Beaumont, Perrault, Grimm, etc.)

Translation of Brothers Grimm

A link to a digital copy of the book

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