Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: an Introduction

Cover image: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

This is a book I adore utterly, and cannot easily describe. It is, of course, about faerie, and the people and things of faerie; that’s why I’m writing about it here! It’s a little like Hope Mirrlees’s Lud-in-the-Mist, a little like Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances (and not just in sharing a time period), and utterly English: an extended meditation on our history, our land, and our often fraught relationship to it.

I’m going to be re-reading the whole book over the course of the month, and blogging it, five chapters at a time. Chapters 1-5 will go live later tonight, and then it’ll be a post every other day. I hope many of you will be able to read along with me, but even if you can’t, please do read on and join in! Your comments help to make these posts work.

NB: Whilst I’ll try to avoid forward spoilers in the posts themselves for the sake of anyone reading for the first time, the comments are completely fair game for speculation, spoilers, silly games, and many other things that don’t even begin with “S”.

And if you want to pass the time till the curtains draw back and our story begins, tell me: why do you love this book? Who’s your favourite character, and why?

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mark S. Deniz
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 14:37:14

    Oh, this is great stuff Sam, I have the book at home and started reading a while ago but gave up on it, this might just get me back into it!

    Reply

  2. kvtaylor
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 15:20:04

    One of my all-time favorite books. It’s all about the Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair. ALL about.

    Reply

  3. Laura Jerry
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 15:54:21

    This is one of my favourite books of all time, and there must be something in the water as not only have I been thinking for the past week that I might re-read it myself soon; but I then proceeded to find a paperback copy of it on an old bookcase in an abandoned room in the hospital I’m on placement at at the moment!

    If I believed in signs, this would sure be one telling me to start re-reading it now, and that is exactly what I shall be doing.

    Hands down the best character – Childermass.

    Reply

  4. arnold
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 17:43:50

    Best character? Mr Segundus, of course, and anyone who disagrees with me is WRONG.

    Reply

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