Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

[Bettie’s Books (hide spoiler)]

The shelving and star rating indicates my love of this book.

With magic long since lost to England, two men are destined to bring it back; the reclusive Mr Norrell and daring novice Jonathan Strange. So begins a dangerous battle between two great minds.

HUZZAH! The trailer:…

Jonathan Strange: Bertie Carvel
Mr Norrell: Eddie Marsan
The Gentleman: Marc Warren
Arabella: Charlotte Riley
Lady Pole: Alice Englert
Sir Walter Pole: Samuel West
Childermass: Enzo Cilenti

Episode 1 of 7: The Friends of English Magic: Determined to restore magic to its former glory and prove himself England’s greatest magician, Mr Norrell makes a dangerous pact with a mysterious being, while the charming Jonathan Strange, more interested in drinking and winning the hand of the beautiful Arabella than reading magical books, learns he too has magical gifts.

Was that Mick Fleetwood who warns ‘Raven Is Coming’? As with Cromwell episode 1, this was mumbled. What happened to diction and ennunciation?

Episode 2 of 7: How Is Lady Pole?: Mr Norrell takes on Jonathan Strange as his apprentice. However, it soon becomes clear that the pupil outshines the master. And something is clearly very wrong with the resurrected Lady Pole.

Loved this episode. Loved it I tell ya!

3/7: The Education of a Magician: Jonathan Strange accesses ancient and troubling magic as he fights the Napoleonic armies, while Mr Norrell battles to keep his secrets hidden, and the mysterious Gentleman enrols Sir Walter’s servant Stephen to help him enchant the beguiling Arabella.

“What language are they speaking?”
“Something from hell.”
“They learned that fast!”

4/7: All the Mirrors of the World: Returned from war, Jonathan Strange joins Mr Norrell to try to cure England’s mad king, George III, but is frustrated at Norrell’s refusal to discuss the magic and legends of old times. Meanwhile, unbeknown to the magicians, the Gentleman embarks on a scheme to capture Arabella and destroy Jonathan Strange.

Loved that bit where Arabella points out how bad it is for someone to review their own book **looks around grrramazon**

5/7: Arabella: Jonathan Strange’s remarkable magic helps England win the Battle of Waterloo, after which Strange returns home hoping for a peaceful new life, but the Gentleman’s scheme for revenge wrecks all of his and Arabella’s plans, leaving Jonathan Strange a ruined man.

6/7: The Black Tower: Having fled England to Venice, Strange attempts to drive himself insane as a way of gaining access to the fairy magic that he believes can help him resurrect his wife. In so doing, he unleashes a curse that threatens to destroy him utterly.

7/7: With England in chaos as magic returns, Strange comes back home to claim Mr Norrell and rescue Arabella. But can his plan possibly work? Or will the dark prophecy of the Raven King finally be fulfilled?

This series was fab yet the book is best.

5* Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
4.5* The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories

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