Funny story: I have my mom's copy of this (another pre-ISBN book I own...) I bought myself a Kindle copy but that's not the funny part. The funny part is that I read this ages ago, with my mother when I was very young. We read it together. She had read it with her mother, so I guess it was supposed to be a thing. (If she'd ever read another book besides Jane Eyre, maybe it would have been.) But over the years, I'd forgotten most of it. I'm always annoyed when I see a star rating on my books marked read and can't remember much, so since it's short, I read it yesterday. I knew it involved a weaver and his daughter. But in my brilliant mind, I meshed it with Rumpelstiltskin. What a shocker when nobody spun any gold!
This really is a lovely story. Before it's lovely, it's laugh aloud funny too. Despite its age, the language is easy to understand and it's an incredibly quick read. George Eliot packed a lot of story into a very slim book, and an original telling into a morality play. A ton of characters and plot lines all weave together effortlessly to end in a tear-jerker.
Interestingly, she thought this was a throwaway, or perhaps it should be a poem. We're lucky she finished the story because it really is a little gem. Now I suppose I should reread Rumpelstiltskin in case I've got that mixed up with something else entirely too.