There are at least two other factors that should at least be mentioned because they have had an influence on the character of the Grimms’ tales, that is, on how the brothers consciously and unconsciously edited the tales. The first factor is the Protestant prudery of the Grimms in a narrow sense of the term, typical for the times, that led to the elimination of all offensive passages in consideration of young readers, and excluded smut from the very beginning. (By doing this the actual spectrum of orally transmitted folk stories was definitively limited.) The second factor is the familiarly of most contributors with the literary tradition of the French contes de fées, and this familiarity can be documented in a series of texts down to their very literal formulations borrowed from the contes. Therefore, a differentiated social-historical study must not misinterpret the Children’s and Household Tales as a document of an oral narrative tradition in which the social experiential world of agrarian lower classes had found its manifest expression. Even stories, which can be traced back to peasant sources, must be understood in their published narrative shape and in their manifold revised form, also in regard to the narrative content, more as documents of (educated) bourgeois conceptions of the experiential world of this social stratum.
The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World, Second Edition by Jack Zipes
I often have difficulty expressing the fact that the Grimm collection of fairy tales is a retelling of what rich people thought poor people’s storytelling (and experiences) should be like, not the actuality. Most of the stories do not even come from the peasant class at all and are largely French and not German. Zipes sums it all up nicely.