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Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Clarke, Susanna (Book - 2004)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
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English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory. But at Hurtfew Abbey in Yorkshire, the rich, reclusive Mr Norrell has assembled a wonderful library of lost and forgotten books from England's magical past and regained some of the powers of England's magicians. He goes to London and raises a beautiful young woman from the dead. Soon he is lending his help to the government in the war against Napoleon Bonaparte, creating ghostly fleets of rain-ships to confuse and alarm the French. All goes well until a rival magician appears. Jonathan Strange is handsome, charming, and talkative-the very opposite of Mr Norrell. Strange thinks nothing of enduring the rigors of campaigning with Wellington's army and doing magic on battlefields. Astonished to find another practicing magician, Mr Norrell accepts Strange as a pupil. But it soon becomes clear that their ideas of what English magic ought to be are very different. For Mr Norrell, their power is something to be cautiously controlled, while Jonathan Strange will always be attracted to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic. He becomes fascinated by the ancient, shadowy figure of the Raven King, a child taken by fairies who became king of both England and Faerie, and the most legendary magician of all. Eventually Strange's heedless pursuit of long-forgotten magic threatens to destroy not only his partnership with Norrell, but everything that he holds dear. Sophisticated, witty, and ingeniously convincing, Susanna Clarke's magisterial novel weaves magic into a flawlessly detailed vision of historical England. She has created a world so thoroughly enchanting that eight hundred pages leave readers longing for more.
Authors: Clarke, Susanna
Title: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2004
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
Characteristics: 782 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Susanna Clarke ; illustrations by Portia Rosenberg
ISBN: 1582344167
9781582344164
1620409909
Branch Call Number: FICTION CLARKE
Subject Headings: York (England) Fiction London (England) Fiction Fairies Fiction Magicians Fiction Teacher-student relationships Fiction
Genre/Form: Fantasy fiction
Historical fiction
Topical Term: Fairies
Magicians
Teacher-student relationships
LCCN: 2004002402
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From Library Staff

In a recent interview, Grossman mentions this title as an example of how fantasy fiction and literary fiction need not be mutually exclusive.

In this alternate-history version of England, the Napoleonic Wars are fought and won with the help of two very different magicians. This is the kind of big, wonderful, imaginative book you can get lost in for a long time. As of 08/14, it's also available on audiobook, both on CD and downloadable... Read More »

English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic.

In nineteenth-century England, all is going well for rich, reclusive Mr Norell, who has regained some of the power of England's magicians from the past, until a rival magician, Jonathan Strange, appears and becomes Mr Norrell's pupil. Available on e-book.

At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England’s history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England—until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrit... Read More »


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