The debut novel While Beauty Slept (2014) by Elizabeth Blackwell is a Gothic re-imagining of the classic tale about a young woman whose fate is a near-death slumber with an uncertain end. Told as the remembrance of grandmother Elise to her granddaughter, the elder woman recalls events in the court of King Ranolf and Queen Lenore.
Elise joined the court as the daughter of a seamstress and an unknown father, and rose to the position of the queen’s attendant. Queen Lenore had difficulty producing an heir, and the kingdom and marriage were in jeopardy when she returned from a journey with the king’s great-aunt Millicent and announced her pregnancy.
A power struggle ensued between the aunt and the king over who would have the greatest influence with the queen. Eventually Millicent was banished, but when Princess Rose was seventeen, Elise was sent into isolation to protect her. This tale is reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm.