Could Snow White have been real? We often imagine that fictional stories contain within them at least a grain of truth; perhaps the setting shares a likeness to the author’s home town, or the hero is someone strikingly possessed of qualities like the writer. Fairy tales? Not so much. After all, who ever heard of an actual big, bad wolf disguising himself as a little girl’s grandma and hiding in her bed? No, fairy tales are called tales precisely because they bear no likeness to any reality. Turns out, that assumption is mistaken, at least in the case of the fairy tale, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. There is a real life baroness behind the story’s heroine, Maria Sophia von Erthal, who lived in a castle near the town of Lohr am Main, in northern Bavaria in the mid-18th century, and died in 1796.Portrait of Maria Sophia von ErthalExperts believe that von Erthal served as the inspiration for Snow White, the classic tale of a virtuous maiden who lives with seven dwarfs, all of whom work in a mine. The baroness’s gravestone was recently donated by a family to the Diocesan Museum, in Bamberg, in southern Germany. Its director, Holger Kempken, likes to think the story of the baroness as the basis for the fairy tale girl is, at least in part, true. He recently told BBC News, “The story of Sophia’s life was well known at the start of the 19th century,” he began. “The Brothers Grimm made literature out of the stories they heard from local people.AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsChurch official Norbert Jung with the gravestone. Picture courtesy of the Archdiocese of Bamberg, taken by Dominik Schreiner.“There are indications,” he continued, “though we cannot prove it for sure – that Sophia was the model for Snow White. Today, when you make a film about a historical person, there is also fiction in it. So, in this case, I think there is a historical basis but there (are) also fictional elements.”And just what are the parallels between the tale of Snow White and the baroness, and her environs? As it turns out, there are quite a few.Snow White in the trailer of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)The fairy tale tells of a young girl who escapes a wicked stepmother, and falls under the care of seven dwarfs who work in a mine. One day, she falls into a deep sleep after biting into a poison apple, courtesy of the mean, evil stepmother. But she does not die, and while resting in her glass coffin, she is discovered, and kissed, by a fabulous prince and the two – of course – live happily ever after.Illustration from 1910 Snow White fairy tale.Sophia’s father did indeed choose a second wife who was horrid to her stepchildren, and favored her own. Lohr was known as a hub for glass and mirror making, and Sophia’s father owned just such a factory. There was a mine nearby, reached by crossing over seven hills, just like in the story. Children and dwarfs worked in the mine.And perhaps most revealing is the fact that Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm lived just 50 miles from Lohr. They could quite easily heard of Sophia’s life, and used her as the inspiration for their maiden.The town of Lohr am Main. Photo by Ben CC by 2.0Alas, Sophia did not have quite the “happily ever after” ending that Snow White did. She lost her eyesight as a young woman, and though she lived to be 71 – a ripe old age in the late 18th century – she died a spinster, in a convent.She never even came close to finding her prince. However she had a gravestone, and that was something most women did not get back then, when she was buried on the small grounds of a local church. When the church was razed to make way for a clinic in 1971, a local family kept it safe, then donated it to the museum in Bamberg.Related Article: Disney Left Out the Most Gruesome Aspects of the Original Snow White StoryThere is no way to be absolutely sure the baroness was the model for Snow White, but it’s a wonderful thought. And while her gravestone makes references to resurrection, she no doubt couldn’t imagine herself living on in a fairy tale, and countless cartoons and Walt Disney movies.
FILE- In this Oct. 27, 2018, file photo, Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury stands on the field before an NCAA college football game against Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact So by connecting the dots of the Kingsbury hire in Arizona, the Cardinals owning the No. 1 pick and Murray reportedly set to declare for the upcoming NFL Draft, the clip went viral.Related LinksESPN’s Schefter suggests Cardinals could draft QB Murray, trade RosenWho the Cardinals are considering for offensive assistant openingsCardinals retain special teams coordinator Jeff RodgersBruce Arians explains why he left retirement to join BuccaneersKingsbury addressed the clip on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio.“I don’t think he’s officially declared yet so we’re not supposed to talk about those prospects yet but it’s an interesting soundbite, being that that was October and it’s now kind of coming out to be played as if it was yesterday,” Kingsbury said. “So I’ll stay away from that one right now.“That was in October way before anything like this had transpired.”Kingsbury’s path to becoming an NFL head coach in the past three months is a rare one. He was let go by Texas Tech in late November, and in less than a month, took the offensive coordinator job at USC.The 39-year-old then received interest from NFL teams for interviews, which USC reportedly blocked before Kingsbury eventually took on interviews and ended up with the Cardinals.The first-time NFL head coach spoke with CBS Sports Network’s Jim Rome on the Jim Rome Show to speak on that whirlwind of a time. “It’s unfortunate, obviously,” he said of what happened with USC. “That was never my intention and I think the world of that university, I think the world of (USC head) coach (Todd) Helton, the job he’s gonna do there. I turned down a bunch of opportunities to be a Trojan and go to USC because of the great program and what I knew we could do there.“This came up and it was just one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities I couldn’t pass up but I really enjoyed my time there and will be pulling for them moving forward.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling A video from late October made the rounds on social media Wednesday night featuring new Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury raving about Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.Kingsbury, of course, was still Texas Tech’s head coach at the time and Murray was reportedly leaning towards his career in MLB.“I’d take him with the first pick in the draft if I could,” Kingsbury said of Murray, then doubling down on that statement. “I know he signed up to play baseball, but he is a dominant football player and I would take him with the first pick.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 15 Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories