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A very special book indeed, magical in all its senses, which has just 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. If you are interested click here to visit the publishers site.
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.
|Publication date:||5th September 2005|
|Publisher:||Bloomsbury Publishing Plc|
|Collections:||40 unmissable magic realist reads - “It’s real-life, but not as we know it”,|
|Primary Genre||Historical fiction|
Closing date: 30/06/2021
‘Full of spells, bad weather, statues that talk, haunted ballrooms and sinister gentlemen with thistledown hair … be enchanted! *****’ Elle
‘Brimming with cod-academic references and myths, pert drawing-room comedy and genuinely chilling fantasy, this will appeal to devotees of Sarah Waters as much as to Harry Potter fans’ Marie Claire
‘Pick up Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and start reading. It is, as befits a novel about two rival magicians, spellbinding … This is masterful, brilliantly paced storytelling. At its best, as when the barriers between Earth and faerie dissolve completely and she imagines what magic feels like, it is completely mesmerizing … prodigiously imagined, elegantly witty, superbly crafted’ Scotsman
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.More About Susanna Clarke