Gravestone of the Real Snow White Discovered in Germany

It is thought that the Brothers Grimm based their story of Snow White on a real person, Maria Sophia von Erthal, born in 1725 in Lohr am Main, Bavaria. The young German aristocrat had a great life until her mother died and her father married a woman who disliked and abused her stepchildren. Here's a partial list of details from Maria's life story.  

Sophia's father, a nobleman called Philipp Christoph von Erthal, remarried after his first wife's death, and Sophia's stepmother had the reputation of being domineering and acting in favour of her natural children

Lohr was a famous centre for glassware and mirrors. Sophia's father owned the mirror factory, and a museum in Lohr today proudly displays one of those mirrors with the inscription: "Amour propre" (French for "pride")

A scary forest features in the tale, and a forest near Lohr was notorious for robbers and dangerous wild animals

Snow White ran over seven hills before reaching the cottage inhabited by the seven dwarfs, who toiled in a mine; and a mine outside Lohr, now disused, can be reached by crossing seven hills

The town of Lohr am Main has embraced the possibility that Maria inspired the story of Snow White, and the castle the family lived in is now a museum. Another part of the historical saga is in place now, as Maria's gravestone has been found after going missing for decades. Read that story at the BBC. -via Strange Company

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