JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL
The question, “Why is no more magic done in England?” leads to the
discovery of magician Gilbert Norrell. The belief that Norrell is the
only magician in England proves false however, when Jonathan Strange
appears and becomes his pupil. Norrell’s ambition is to bring back magic
to England, and with Strange helps the country in the war against
France. But a magic done for this ambition brings continuous misfortune,
and the return of England’s greatest magician, the Raven King.
would have given up reading this long novel [the paperback numbers 1006
pages] had I not wanted to know whether Lady Pole and Stephen Black
would escape from the gentleman with the thistle-down hair. I would have
enjoyed the book more were it in comic book format, for its atmosphere
reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman”. With all fairness to Clarke,
I am curious as to whether the history and practice of English magic in
the novel and its footnotes were purely from imagination or had some
basis in English mythology, legends, and folktales.