Warning: Beauty and the Beast spoilers up ahead!
As well as wonderfully reigniting the storyline brought to life by Disney's 1991 original animation, Bill Condon's live-action adaptation of #BeautyAndTheBeast has also provided us with a stunning new perspective on the beloved tale as old as time.
And now, it appears that the recent release has also answered a vital question that has been seldom touched upon before; how did Belle's mom really die?
In Disney's animation, we're only introduced to Maurice — Belle's inventor father — and we never actually find out what happened to her mom. Thankfully, 2017's live-action took it upon itself to uncovering the truth.
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During Emma Watson's stint as our Beauty, we learn that the Enchantress leaves an atlas in the Beast's castle — an object that can transport the mind of anyone who reads it anywhere they want to go, and to any given time period.
At one memorable point in the movie, the Beast takes himself and Belle to her childhood home in Paris, where they encounter a doctor in a beaked mask. For those who need a reminder, during the bubonic plague epidemic in Europe in the 17th century, medical physicians who treated victims of the "Black Death" believed that if they wore beak-like masks filled with aromatic herbs, they would be protected from the putrid air. As a consequence, they thought they would be able to ward off the deadly infection — a method that failed many of them.
Because of this reference, we now know that Belle's mother probably died of the bubonic plague, begging her husband Maurice to flee from the city with their daughter so they wouldn't also catch it. And that's how Belle and her beloved father Maurice ended up living the "provincial life." Sob.
Did you catch the reference to the Black Death in Beauty and the Beast?