This Page

has moved to a new address:

Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
----------------------------------------------------- Blogger Template Style Name: Snapshot: Madder Designer: Dave Shea URL: / Date: 27 Feb 2004 ------------------------------------------------------ */ /* -- basic html elements -- */ body {padding: 0; margin: 0; font: 75% Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: #474B4E; background: #fff; text-align: center;} a {color: #DD6599; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none;} a:visited {color: #D6A0B6;} a:hover {text-decoration: underline; color: #FD0570;} h1 {margin: 0; color: #7B8186; font-size: 1.5em; text-transform: lowercase;} h1 a {color: #7B8186;} h2, #comments h4 {font-size: 1em; margin: 2em 0 0 0; color: #7B8186; background: transparent url( bottom right no-repeat; padding-bottom: 2px;} @media all { h3 { font-size: 1em; margin: 2em 0 0 0; background: transparent url( bottom right no-repeat; padding-bottom: 2px; } } @media handheld { h3 { background:none; } } h4, h5 {font-size: 0.9em; text-transform: lowercase; letter-spacing: 2px;} h5 {color: #7B8186;} h6 {font-size: 0.8em; text-transform: uppercase; letter-spacing: 2px;} p {margin: 0 0 1em 0;} img, form {border: 0; margin: 0;} /* -- layout -- */ @media all { #content { width: 700px; margin: 0 auto; text-align: left; background: #fff url( 0 0 repeat-y;} } #header { background: #D8DADC url( 0 0 repeat-y; } #header div { background: transparent url( bottom left no-repeat; } #main { line-height: 1.4; float: left; padding: 10px 12px; border-top: solid 1px #fff; width: 428px; /* Tantek hack - */ voice-family: "\"}\""; voice-family: inherit; width: 404px; } } @media handheld { #content { width: 90%; } #header { background: #D8DADC; } #header div { background: none; } #main { float: none; width: 100%; } } /* IE5 hack */ #main {} @media all { #sidebar { margin-left: 428px; border-top: solid 1px #fff; padding: 4px 0 0 7px; background: #fff url( 1px 0 no-repeat; } #footer { clear: both; background: #E9EAEB url( bottom left no-repeat; border-top: solid 1px #fff; } } @media handheld { #sidebar { margin: 0 0 0 0; background: #fff; } #footer { background: #E9EAEB; } } /* -- header style -- */ #header h1 {padding: 12px 0 92px 4px; width: 557px; line-height: 1;} /* -- content area style -- */ #main {line-height: 1.4;} {font-size: 1.2em; margin-bottom: 0;} a {color: #C4663B;} .post {clear: both; margin-bottom: 4em;} .post-footer em {color: #B4BABE; font-style: normal; float: left;} .post-footer .comment-link {float: right;} #main img {border: solid 1px #E3E4E4; padding: 2px; background: #fff;} .deleted-comment {font-style:italic;color:gray;} /* -- sidebar style -- */ @media all { #sidebar #description { border: solid 1px #F3B89D; padding: 10px 17px; color: #C4663B; background: #FFD1BC url(; font-size: 1.2em; font-weight: bold; line-height: 0.9; margin: 0 0 0 -6px; } } @media handheld { #sidebar #description { background: #FFD1BC; } } #sidebar h2 {font-size: 1.3em; margin: 1.3em 0 0.5em 0;} #sidebar dl {margin: 0 0 10px 0;} #sidebar ul {list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0;} #sidebar li {padding-bottom: 5px; line-height: 0.9;} #profile-container {color: #7B8186;} #profile-container img {border: solid 1px #7C78B5; padding: 4px 4px 8px 4px; margin: 0 10px 1em 0; float: left;} .archive-list {margin-bottom: 2em;} #powered-by {margin: 10px auto 20px auto;} /* -- sidebar style -- */ #footer p {margin: 0; padding: 12px 8px; font-size: 0.9em;} #footer hr {display: none;} /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { }

Monday 11 May 2015

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - The Friends of English Magic

Have you seen or heard the trailers on BBC for the new series, "The Friends of English Magic"?  Having read the book it's based on, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, written by Susanna Clark, I can't wait to see how the realms of 'English Magic' are brought to life in this exciting new fantasy series which starts on Sunday 17th May at 9pm on BBC One.

The blurb
Centuries ago, when magic still existed in England, the greatest magician of all was the Raven King, a human child brought up by fairies. But in the early nineteenth century, he is barely more than a legend, and England, with its mad King and its dashing poets, no longer believes in practical magic.

Now, in 1806, rumours begin to spread of the reclusive Mr Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey, and when he and his dazzling displays of magic appear in London, news quickly spreads of the return of magic to England. Persuaded that he must help the government in the war against Napoleon, Mr Norrell is challenged by another brilliant young magician, Jonathan Strange. Together they entrance the country with their feats of magic but their partnership soon turns to rivalry. Mr Norrell has never conquered his lifelong habits of secrecy, while Strange will always be attracted to the wildest, most perilous magic.

The author
Susanna Clarke lives in Cambridge with her partner, the novelist and reviewer Colin Greenland. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell was first published in 2004 in more than thirty countries and shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Guardian First Book Award and the Authors Club First Novel Award. It won British Book Awards Newcomer of the Year, the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award in 2005. The Ladies of Grace Adieu, a collection of short stories, some set in the world of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, was published by Bloomsbury in 2006.

My thoughts
This is a curious book, written as if it were a real history with more footnotes than I have ever seen in a novel!  The cast of characters are larger than life but all recognisable and quite transferable into modern life.  I was particularly fond of Mr Segundus and Mr Honeywell who have a key role in the novel. Likewise the shallow socialites Mr Lascelles and Mr Drawlight are rather endearing.  I could go on, but you should read it yourself, there are many characters, as many plots and sub-plots.  The magical experiences are described in detail, I am not usually one for detailed descriptions, preferring action and dialogue, but somehow the pictures that are created are delightful and there is plenty of action to keep my attention.  

Who is it for?
Anyone who enjoys loosely historical novels (there are some real events woven through the text), lovers of  well-written fantasy and magic.  Anyone who is looking for something a little different. 

The Verdict
Read the book, watch the series or do both, it will be a fantastical adventure that you won't want to miss.  I'm hoping that the series will live up to the pictures the author has painted in my head and that Cuba Pictures and Feel Films will not edit out too much of the detail of the plot, as often happens. We shall just have to wait and see!

Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell
by Susanna Clarke
New Edition with preface by Susanna Clarke 23rd April, 2015
Published by Bloomsbury 
Paperback £8.09
e-book £4.99

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 12 May 2015 at 10:28 , Anonymous Teresa Bowen said...

I read this book when it was first published and absolutely loved it. I agree with you, anyone who is looking for something a little bit different should give this a try.

Do you think a story this complicated and involved will translate to TV or will it be stripped to bare essentials?

At 13 May 2015 at 17:37 , Blogger Galina Varese said...

I love historical fiction, and might be tempted to try this book, even if it's a mix of genres. Sounds like a perfect escapism

At 19 May 2015 at 15:16 , Blogger Unknown said...

I haven't seen it yet and your post has made me desperate to catch up!


Post a Comment

I love to read your comments and try to reply when I can. I have had to enable comment moderation due to high levels of spam, so it may take a little time before your comment is visible. Please let me know if you make one of my recipes or if you have any questions I will try to answer them. Janice

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home