The Christian Science Monitor also has a nice, short article about the Grimms this week. From The real Brothers Grimm were stranger than fiction By Jeff Ward-Bailey,:
The Grimms published the first volume of their collected folk tales -- called "Children's and Household Tales" -- in 1812, and a second volume in 1814. Though they continued to write scholarly books and articles on linguistics and medieval studies, their folk tales gained them the most recognition, and they even received honorary doctorates from their alma mater.
By the way, if you've ever read "Grimm's Fairy Tales" and felt they were a little dark for kids, you have German culture during the early 1800s to thank. After the book was published it attracted criticism for its sexual content, so the brothers edited these themes out of subsequent editions. But because the violence of the stories wasn't frowned upon in the same way, it was retained and in some cases even increased.
The Grimm's collection of folklore had already been popular during their lifetimes, but it went on to become one of the most celebrated works of German literature and the basis for countless books and movies during the next two centuries. On the list of the best-selling authors of all time, some figures place the Grimms in third place -- preceded only by Shakespeare and the Bible.