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Literature / The Tailor of Gloucester

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The Tailor of Gloucester is an early story by Beatrix Potter.

It is about an impoverished tailor (who lives in Gloucester) who is hired to make a suit for the Mayor's wedding.

He runs into trouble when he falls too ill to work and his cat, Simpkin, hides the right kind of thread to finish the suit's button-holes, but fortunately he receives some unexpected help from the mice living in the wainscoting of his shop.

This book provides examples of:

  • Arc Words: No more twist!
  • Butt-Monkey: Simpkin
  • Civilized Animal: Simpkin is a mixed example; he can only speak in meows, but he also wears clothes, walks on two legs, and runs errands for the tailor.
  • Costume Porn: The descriptions of the tailor's creations are gorgeous. Of course, this being a Beatrix Potter story, even the mice get in on the Costume Porn action.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: While sick, the tailor periodically declares "Alack!" which is an older version of the somewhat more familiar term "Alas!"
  • Needlework Is for Old People: Zigzagged. The tailor is old, but the mice also do needlework and their ages vary.
  • Nice Mice: They help the tailor when he's bedridden with illness and on a time crunch.
  • No Name Given: The tailor.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The story is based on the tailor John Prichard, who arrived at his shop having found the mayor's suit completed over night. Although in real life the work was done by his assistants, rather than mice.