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Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Literary Fiction   Fantasy   Books Behind TV & Film   eBook Favourites   
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A very special book indeed, magical in all its senses, which won the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award for best book. Slow to get into and long, it is written in the style of the period in which it is set, Regency, which I felt added to its charm. It’s about magicians, different strands of magic, highly imaginative with many layers and intricate sub-plots and, despite the dusty language, is totally compelling. A highly intelligent alternative history which I urge you to read and become totally hooked. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

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If you like Susanna Clarke you might also like to read books by Charles Palliser, Michel Faber and Glen David Gold.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Did magic ever go away? In 19th-century England the days of the mysterious Raven King are long gone, and only a handful of gentlemen-magicians are left to ponder why magic has fled the land. But a certain Mr Norrell is about to offer his services to Her Majesty’s Government, convinced that he, the last real magician, can aid in the war against France. His cunning spells make him the toast of London; but another magician is also about to declare himself – Jonathan Strange. Reluctantly Norrell agrees to tutor the young man, unaware that they will soon be bitter enemies. For Norrell is determined to restrict magical knowledge, while Strange is eager to share his gifts with the masses. His quest will lead him into dangerous fairy lands and to the heart of the mystery of the Raven King. This extravaganza of gothic fantasy and Dickensian characterisation has been made into a stunning seven-part television adaptation by the BBC.


Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

A beautiful new limited edition paperback of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, published as part of the Bloomsbury Modern Classics list.

Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me ... The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.


'Unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years. It's funny, moving, scary, otherworldly, practical and magical ... Closing Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell after 800 pages my only regret was that it wasn't twice the length' Neil Gaiman

'An elegant and witty historical fantasy which deserves to be judged on its own (considerable) merit' Sunday Telegraph

'Full of spells, bad weather, statues that talk, haunted ballrooms and sinister gentlemen with thistledown hair ... be enchanted!' Elle

'A nourishing, 19th-century-style novel that will warm readers through any number of dark and stormy nights ... Clarke makes her magical story ridiculously engrossing'
Daily Telegraph

'This is, in both the precise and the colloquial sense, a fabulous book ... a highly original and compelling work' Sunday Times

About the Author

Susanna Clarke

Susanna Clarke was born in Nottingham in 1959, the eldest daughter of a Methodist Minister. In 1990 she left London and went to Turin to teach English to stressed-out executives of the Fiat motor company. The following year she taught English in Bilbao.

She returned to England in 1992 and spent the rest of that year in County Durham, in a house that looked out over the North Sea. There she began working on her first novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, published by Bloomsbury in October 2004.

Susanna lives in Cambridge with her partner, the novelist and reviewer Colin Greenland.

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Book Info

Publication date

21st September 2017


Susanna Clarke

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


1032 pages


Literary Fiction
Books Behind TV & Film
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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