Ever wonder what happens to all those fairy tale characters in their happily ever after? Now you can find out.
I've posted “Curious, If True” here, with links at strategic places in the text to the relevant fairy tales; for the French tales, usually Andrew Lang’s retelling of Charles Perrault’s version. How many of the fairy tales can you identify before clicking on the links?
Even if you do recognize all the references, I recommend that after you finish Gaskell’s story, you click through and re-read the originals anyway; you’ve probably forgotten a lot of the details. In particular, one story has an entire third act that is omitted from popular renditions; I’m not sure I’d ever read it before, myself.
Some additional notes, hopefully not too spoilerish:
+ The English fairy tale Tom Thumb is not the same as the French tale Le Petit Poucet, although Andrew Lang translated Perrault’s title in a misleading way. According to Wikipedia, Perrault’s story is often known in English as Hop o’my Thumb.
+ “Gilles de Retz,” aka Gilles de Rais, was a historical person. Some believe he is the inspiration for a famous fairy tale. You can read a little bit about that here.
Image: The Chateau of Neuchatel at dusk, with Jura mountains beyond by John Ruskin (1866). Source: WikiArt