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The Tailor of Gloucester

Beatrix Potter

Book Overview: 

The story is about a tailor whose work on a waistcoat is finished by the grateful mice he rescues from his cat and was based on a real world incident involving a tailor and his assistants.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .TAILOR OF GLOUCESTER

In the time of swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets—when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta—there lived a tailor in Gloucester.

He sat in the window of a little shop in Westgate Street, cross-legged on a table, from morning till dark.

All day long while the light lasted he sewed and snippeted, piecing out his satin and pompadour, and lutestring; stuffs had strange names, and were very expensive in the days of the Tailor of Gloucester.

But although he sewed fine silk for his neighbours, he himself was very, very poor—a little old man in spectacles, with a pinched face, old crooked fingers, and a suit of thread-bare clothes.

He cut his coats without waste, according to his embroidered cloth; they were very small ends and snippets that lay about upon the table—". . . Read More

Community Reviews

Lovely story. My fourth Potter. Funny to see how people appreciate the different stories. I particularly loved this a bit more elaborate storty and the little drawings of the finely dressed mice and the Christmas town images.... I'm a fan.

I'm currently revisiting all of Beatrix Potter's works, and this one, was next on my list. I think this beautiful book is probably a favourite. It has a certain atmosphere, and it makes one think of Xmas. I think it is wonderful how Potter manages to create and weave together a story with mice an...more

Oh my goodness! So sweet!

I think this is my favorite of all of Beatrix Potter's lovely illustrated tales - and it was the author's favorite too! It has a Christmastime setting and a nice message about the spirit of the season, so it was great to revisit it.

A poor, aged tailor in England in olden times, "when gentlemen w...more

My kid's grandma bought us a 12 book set of the original Beatrix Potter books. I'll be reviewing them at random and out of order.

This book is so so sooo long that it made me appreciate the conciseness of the others in the series. Nothing was really gained by having so many more words except that...more

Unlike the previous two stories, The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin , this tale of a human tailor of Gloucester is a longer, more developed story, which took me for surprise as I was not expecting anything particularly lengthy during my read-through of these Beatrix Potte...more

One of my favourites as a small child. I loved the detailed illustrations of the mice's elegant clothing more than the story itself. Apparently the tale is not original to Potter but based on a local folktale of the poor tailor helped out by magic mice. Methinks it must have been inspiration for...more

A tailor falls ill before Christmas and cannot finish an important coat for the mayor. Luckily some mice with super sewing skills help in this Christmas version of the elves and the shoemaker. The illustrations are lovely and we really enjoyed the part where it mentions the legend that animals ca...more

I'm laughing as I think about the line "no more twist!" Oh that cat and the poor sick tailor. The mice were great at working their magic and in the end the stitching was a fabulous sight, particularly around the buttons, wink wink ;) Poetic, sweet, and fun!

- Miss Potter, may I ask what your new book will be about?

- Some mice help a tailor make a waistcoat. But the ending is flat.

- No twist?

- Ah... of course! A wonderful suggestion!

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