Paradiz gives insight into the background of the Grimm family and their acquaintances, and also connects elements of their lives with the tales they immortalized. Whereas other books on the famous collection focus on the stories and refer to the lives of those who collected and contributed only as secondary importance, this book focuses on the real lives of those who were involved in with the Grimms. What follows is a highly readable book that makes interesting paralells between the facts of the authors' biographies and the elements of the stories they immortalized.
"The Maiden Without Hands" may well have been the same kind of story-exposing the very real plight of women through shocking means. The practice of denying women rights was evident even in the fact that the Grimms did not credit their faithful sources by name-instead Wilhelm and Jacob took all credit to themselves and the nameless "Folk" to which they attributed their stories. In Paradiz' powerful words: "If the tales contributed by the women collaborators were noted only by the geographical region from where they came, then the deep underlying message of male literary culture was that women as individuals did not matter. Indeed, it was as if the ladies of the Hassenpflug and Wild households had no hands. Although they could read and write, they were nonetheless robbed of holding the symbolic quill of authorship."