History

Did Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs Really Exist In The World?

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs  Grimm’s Fairy Tale

It is a fact widely acknowledged that life can sometimes turn into a fairy tale. But, there are some fairy tales that are inspired by real life!

Grimm’s Fairy Tales is a collection of tales that the Grimm brothers collected from all around the world and put together to give their readers an amusing read. Most of the tales are believed to have originated from the Middle Ages. But some tales were not even a century old. The best example of such a story is ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’.

Maria Sophia Von Erthal: The Real Snow White?

  • An extremely fair and beautiful baby girl was born to a royal couple. For these very physical qualities, the Queen named her Snow White. Some years later, the Queen passed away and the King married another woman.

According to a study group based in Lohr, Bavaria, Snow White is based on Maria Sophia Von Erthal. She was the daughter of a landowner, Prince Phillip Christoph Von Erthal, and Baroness Von Bettendorf. After Baroness’ demise, the Prince married the Countess of Reichenstien. The Countess was rumored to have disliked her stepchildren.

  • Snow White’s stepmother was a vain woman, who was obsessed with her own beauty. She would often ask a magical talking mirror: “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall. Who’s the fairest of them all?” To which the mirror would reply, “You are the fairest of them all!” This assurance from a reflecting surface would suffice as an ego boost for the vain stepmother, until one day, instead of assuring her of beauty and fairness, the mirror said: “Snow White is the fairest of them all!”

The castle in which the Countess resided also had a talking mirror. The magical mirror is now housed in Spessart Museum.

  • That was enough to make the stepmother furious. She ordered a huntsman to kill Snow White. However, the huntsman took pity on her and told her to escape into the jungle. Snow White fainted due to exhaustion into one of the beds in a cottage.
  • Snow White found herself surrounded by seven dwarfs upon waking up. The seven dwarfs told her that she could stay with them safely until she cooked and cleaned for them. She agreed, and they all lived in contentment for a long time.

 In the mining town of Bieber (not Justin Bieber!), only short miners (dwarfs) could enter the smallest tunnels.  Thus, the existence of dwarfs in Lohr becomes a possibility.

  • But when the evil stepmother became aware that Snow White is still alive, she disguised herself as an old woman and ventured into the forest. Upon meeting Snow White, she offered her a poisonous apple. When Snow White consumed the apple, she fell into a state of unconsciousness. The dwarfs found her in that state. They presumed her to be dead,  and hence put her in a glass coffin.

The region of Lohr was reputed for its glassworks. So, the reference to the glass coffin makes sense. And the poisonous apple might be an indirect reference to nightshade poison that grew in abundance in Lohr.

The Happy Ending:

A young handsome prince glimpsed Snow White and fell in love with her. He requested the dwarfs to let him give her a proper funeral. While carrying the coffin from one place to another, the dwarfs tripped over tree roots. The coffin hit the ground and shattered into pieces. The impact dislodged the poisonous apple from Snow White’s throat, thereby awakening her. The Prince confessed his love to Snow White. They got married and everyone lived happily ever after.

Well, there is no documentation regarding what actually happened to Maria Sophia Von Erthal. However, the fairy tale of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs resembles the actual happenings in Lohr to such an extent, that if one cannot accept the theory, one cannot also deny it. What do you think?

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pooja

As a Literature student, Pooja is passionate about the world of words. Apart from spending hours snuggled up in a blanket with a book in hand, she enjoys digging up facts and theories about historical as well as mythological events. However, sharing them with the world is what keeps her going in life.

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