So, it’s been a hot minute since I ruined our beloved Disney movies, so here I am with another. This time as you can tell from the title it’s Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs and this one is dark!
(Quick side note: this is from the research of a scholar named Eckhard Sander, there is no official proof this is what the fairy tale & Disney movie is based on.)
Grab your snacks and hot drink (optional) and get ready for me to ruin your childhood…
-She did have an evil step-mother who sent her away-
So, in 2013 a scholar named Eckhard Sander argued that fairy tale was based on a real woman named Margarete Von Waldeck who was a Bavarian princess in the 16th Century.
Her mother died when she was 4 and once her father had remarried her stepmother. At a young age Margarete was famous for her beauty which may have been the reason her new step-mother sent her away. However, she wasn’t behind the plot to have her killed.
When she became 16 her father then sent her to live with the court of Mary of Hungary who was the sister to Europe’s most powerful ruler. Her father was hoping to use his beautiful daughter to sway the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V but the plot ended very badly for Margarete.
-Child labourers inspired the seven dwarfs-
This is where we take a very dark turn. The ‘dwarfs’ were not happy, singing companions who protected Snow White. They were likely poor children who were forced to work as slaves in copper mines owned by Margarete’s father
The conditions were terrible and many of them died at a young age. Those who did survive had severely stunted growth who were overworked and malnourished. The malnutrition caused many to have deformed limbs, the children were also referred to as the ‘poor dwarfs’.
The children who worked in the mines were housed in a copper mining village then called Bergfreihet. It has since changed it’s name and those who live there call it “Snow White Village”. It wouldn’t have just been the 7 dwarfs in one room, in the 16th century more than 20 children used to share a single room.
-The Prince was Philip II of Spain-
He was the son of Europe’s most powerful ruler Holy Emperor Charles V and later became King of Spain, Philip II. He met Margarete while she was living in the Court of Mary of Hungary.
There was apparently a steamy romance, however it was always doomed as she was a protestant and he a catholic. If that wasn’t enough of a reason for them to separate, maybe the fact that she was murdered would be.
-Who would send Spanish agents to poison her?-
Charles V couldn’t allow his son to fall in love with a protestant! So there was only one logical option, (according to some historical accounts) he sent Spanish agents to poison her .
Well, it worked and she died aged 21.
This isn’t the only theory out there, but after reading the others this one seems to make the most sense.
It did turn out darker than I expected, especially in terms of those children who suffered in the copper mines.
If you have any suggestions for which I should do next then just leave a comment below.
See you in the next one…