My great-grandfather also told me this little tidbit, which, being a science major (biology) I never would have known (and frankly this one leaves me a little woozy):
In Dwarf Story, we meet Dera, who is the grandmother of Cry, and Cry is one of Arty’s friends – so named because he quickly becomes sobby when anything emotional or intense happens. Cry’s Grandma Dera is actually, to quote WW Marplot, “the daughter of a Nora from a JM Synge play,” namely, as I found out, the play is called “Riders to the Sea” and JM Synge is John Millington Synge, a famed Irish playwright from the early 20th century.
Now, how a character in a young adult fairy novel could be related by blood to a character in fictional play is something I don’t want to ask old W.W. about.
There was a lot of material with more of Dera’s actions and talk, most of which never made it into Dwarf Story as it had nothing to do with the main Gwyllion plot, but Dera made it in to represent the purer Irish zeitgeist and point of view (and to compete with her more famous mother, Nora: ha ha).
I saw in a single, odd note under a particularly messy pile off Dwarf Story stuff that Cry’s real name is Samhain. Go figure. Did anyone guess that?
Lastly – though this one I knew right away – Cry’ last name is Chesterton in honor of Gilbert Keith (G.K.) Chesterton, a family favorite author (my family, and of course that includes great grandad). This was on a note also, in W.W.’s loopy handwriting.