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The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories

by

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"If this sounds like your cup of tea with crumpets, by all means get this book and dine away. Make sure to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell first if you haven't; not so much because you need it to understand the context of the stories, but just because you really should read it. If you have read Strange and Norrell, here are some more delectable morsels from that table. Appetizers are served." Doug Brown, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Following the enormous success of 2004 bestseller and critics' favorite Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke delivers a delicious collection of ten stories set in the same fairy-crossed world of 19th-century England. With Clarke's characteristic historical detail and diction, these dark, enchanting tales unfold in a slightly distorted version of our own world, where people are bedeviled by mischievous interventions from the fairies.

With appearances from beloved characters from her novel, including Jonathan Strange and Childermass, and an entirely new spin on certain historical figures, including Mary, Queen of Scots, this is a must-have for fans of Susanna Clarke's and an enticing introduction to her work for new readers.

Some of these stories have never before been published; others have appeared in the New York Times or in highly regarded anthologies. In this collection, they come together to expand the reach of Clarke's land of enchantment — and anticipate her next novel (Fall 2008).

Review:

"Like Clarke's first novel, the bestselling Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, these eight stories (seven previously published) are set in an England where magic is a serious but sometimes neglected field of study. The first story sees the erudite Strange tangling with country witches. Others show Austenesque concern with love and its outcomes ('Did you not hear me ask you to marry me?'), often involving fairies. In 'The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse,' the duke visits Faerie, a kingdom located on the other side of the wall in the village of Wall (a location Clarke borrows from Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess), and meets a woman whose needlework affects the future. In the footnoted 'Tom Brightwind or How the Fairy Bridge...,' a 'monumental' stone bridge is built in one afternoon. Clarke humorously revisits Rumplestiltzkin in 'On Lickerish Hill,' in which it is revealed that 'Irishmen have tailes neare a quarter of a yard longe.' Clarke may have trouble reaching a new audience in short form, as the stories provide less opportunity to get lost in fantastical material, but the author's many fans will be glad to have these stories in one volume. Illus. by Charles Vess not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Spare a thought for the poor publisher. After taking a chance with a left-field entry in Susanna Clarke's door-stopping debut, 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell,' they found themselves with a huge hit on their hands. The novel was ecstatically reviewed, garnered some important genre awards and sold in several languages.

With all that goodwill and high profile, the only thing the publisher... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Materials from British folklore are reworked with beguiling narrative energy and mischievous wit....Irresistible storytelling, from a splendidly gifted enchantress." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Clarke has crafted eight quirky and devious stories to delight her fans....These stories are charming, engaging, and deceptively simple." Booklist

Review:

"[A] rich, redoubtable vision....For anyone who's been wary of taking on the terrifically intimidating tome that is Mr. Norrell, the lean, lovely, and witty Grace Adieu might just push you over the edge. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"These are all elegant, entertaining stories, and many readers will be untroubled by the airy incoherences found in The Ladies of Grace Adieu. Or else, they may simply say, with Tom Brightwind, 'Who cares?'" Ursula K. Le Guin, The Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Readers longing for the lilting language of fairy tales mixed with a dark take on the fantastical world of fairies and witches will find both in Ladies of Grace Adieu....It's easy to get swept up in these adventurous tales of spells and dark powers." USA Today

Review:

"The author's wry, knowing narrative voice owes debts to Jane Austen, Bram Stoker and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the delightful illustrations by Charles Vess borrow from 19th-century fairy-tale collections, art deco and Edward Gorey." Seattle Times

Review:

"Clarke...is engaged in an experiment, and it isn't entirely successful. The fault lies mainly with the framing device, a faux-scholarly introduction that seems to promise a collection wider-ranging in time and tone than what she delivers." Newsday

Review:

"While Ladies of Grace Adieu might inspire new readers to...pick up the 782-page Jonathan Strange, its more likely audience is those who have already finished that novel and are experiencing such withdrawal that they are perusing scientific texts about sea cucumbers, searching for footnotes." The Christian Science Monitor

Synopsis:

Following the enormous success of 2004 bestseller and critics' favorite Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Clarke delivers a delicious collection of ten stories set in the same fairy-crossed world of 19th-century England.

Synopsis:

From the author of the award-winning, internationally bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, an enchanting collection of stories. Set in versions of England that bear an uncanny resemblance to the world of Strange and Norrell, these stories are brimming with all the ingredients of good fairy tales: petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time in embroidering terrible fates, endless paths in deep, dark woods, and houses that never appear the same way twice. Their heroines and heroes include the Duke of Wellington, a conceited Regency clergyman, an eighteenth-century Jewish doctor, Mary, Queen of Scots, Jonathan Strange, and the Raven King himself. The Ladies of Grace Adieu is the perfect introduction to a world where charm is always tempered by eerieness, and picaresque comedy is always darkened by the disturbing shadow of Faerie.
Susanna Clarke is the author of the New York Times bestseller and multiple award winner Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. She lives in Cambridge, England.
From the author of the award-winning, internationally bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell comes an enchanting collection of stories. Set in versions of England that bear an uncanny resemblance to the world of Strange and Norrell, these stories contain all the ingredients of good fairy tales: petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time in embroidering terrible fates, endless paths in deep, dark woods, and houses that never appear the same way twice. Their heroines and heroes include the Duke of Wellington, a conceited Regency clergyman, an eighteenth-century Jewish doctor, Mary, Queen of Scots, Jonathan Strange, and the Raven King himself. The Ladies of Grace Adieu is an introduction to a world where charm is always tempered by eerieness, and picaresque comedy is always darkened by the disturbing shadow of Faerie.
"The writing is captivating, the characters charming, and the notion that perhaps there's more to reality than what our senses tell us is, as Clarke might say with a smile, simply enchanting."—Nancy Pearl, National Public Radio
 
"Eight short stories previously published between 1996 and 2004 . . . mostly offered again as careful restorations of late 18th- and early 19th-century compositions . . . They're familiar fairy tales or dovetailed traditional yarns touched up for the purposes of elegant retelling. There is a take on Rumpelstiltskin in 'On Lickerish Hill' and a reprise of the time dilations of fairyland in 'Mrs Mabb.' Needlework pictures come to life in another . . . tale called 'The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse.' Two more stories venture further back in the historical timeline, with Tudor and vaguely medieval settings . . . The prose . . . is consistently flawless and beautiful. Reading Clarke is like inspecting some wonderful antiquated craft, such as marquetry or fine hand embroidery."—Graham Joyce, The Washington Post Book World
 
"The eight stories in Ladies of Grace resemble Jonathan Strange in that fantastical creations change history, the 19th century takes on a modern spin, and charm and sophistication ooze off the pages. Here, Susanna Clarke casts a close eye on women, from fairies to damsels in distress—who, not surprisingly, tend to save themselves."—Bookmarks Magazine
 
"Revisiting characters and landscapes she created in her best-selling Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Clarke has crafted eight quirky and devious stories to delight her fans. In the title story, Mr. Strange himself reappears and tangles with three country witches . . . In 'The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse,' the redoubtable hero follows his horse into Wall, a village created by Neil Gaiman, and encounters a woman whose embroidery tells the future. The story set farthest back in time has Mary, Queen of Scots, trying to kill Queen Elizabeth with a skirt. And in the final story, the Raven King himself is outwitted by his lowliest subject. All but one of the stories takes place in or around 1811, and Clarke uses the language, diction, and historical settings beautifully, just hinting at Jane Austen. Each character is elegantly drawn and comes to life on the page. These stories are charming, engaging, and deceptively simple."—Elizabeth Dickie, Booklist
 
“Materials from British folklore are reworked with beguiling narrative energy and mischievous wit in this first collection from the English author of the wonderful adult fantasy Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Two of that book's major characters make vivid reappearances here. In ‘John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner, the legendary magician the Raven King (aka Uskglass) tramples on a humble woodsman's property while hunting, and is himself humbled when his victim enlists various saints to redress his grievance. In the amusing title story, gentleman sorcerer Jonathan Strange discovers during a country visit that ‘the magic of wild creatures [notably owls] and the magic of women are indeed a match for his own. Elsewhere, Mary Queen of Scots, while imprisoned by her rival, England's Elizabeth I, plots revenge through the medium of pictorial embroidery: Still, Elizabeth survives, and Mary loses her head (in ‘Antickes and Frets). That tactic achieves better results when a British military hero strays into a remote domicile ruled by similar domestic magic (in ‘The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse). Odd things will happen, evidently, when mortals join forces or contend with fairy folk. ‘Tom Brightwind and How the Fairy Bridge Was Built at Thoresby describes how Tom, a vainglorious and dictatorial otherworldly paterfamilias, is gently persuaded by his best human friend to improve the fortunes of the inhabitants of Thoresby, a village hitherto cut off from the world beyond it. Less benign supernatural intervention operates in tales relating an unhappy young wife's risky escape from her boring old husband (‘On Lickerish Hill); a forsaken fiancee's perilous dealings with the fairy temptress (‘Mrs. Mabb) who has stolen her beloved; and, in ‘Mr. Simonelli or The Fairy Widower, a country cleric's refusal to be intimidated by a ‘powerful fairy landowner's disagreeable habit of seducing and exploiting innocent young women. Irresistible storytelling, from a splendidly gifted enchantress.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“The stories (seven previously published and one original tale, ‘John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner) deal with fairies and the history of English magic, and are told in the same Victorian style that made Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell so distinct. Prebble (who also narrated Jonathan Strange) returns and once again triumphantly brings Clarke's richly imagined world to life. Sharing narrative duties this time around is Porter, who is equally skilled at playing prim and high-born ladies as she is using more folksy tones in ‘On Lickerish Hill . . . A lyrical and thoroughly enjoyable collection from a burgeoning master of fantasy literature.”—Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

From the author of the award-winning, internationally bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, an enchanting collection of stories. Set in versions of England that bear an uncanny resemblance to the world of Strange and Norrell, these stories are brimming with all the ingredients of good fairy tales: petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time in embroidering terrible fates, endless paths in deep, dark woods, and houses that never appear the same way twice. Their heroines and heroes include the Duke of Wellington, a conceited Regency clergyman, an eighteenth-century Jewish doctor, Mary, Queen of Scots, Jonathan Strange, and the Raven King himself. The Ladies of Grace Adieu is the perfect introduction to a world where charm is always tempered by eerieness, and picaresque comedy is always darkened by the disturbing shadow of Faerie.

About the Author

Susanna Clarke is the author of the New York Times bestseller and multiple award winner Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. She lives in Cambridge, England.

Table of Contents

The Ladies of Grace Adieu
 
On Lickerish Hill
 
Mrs. Mabb
 
The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse
 
Mr. Simonellie or The Fairy Widower
 
Tom Brightwind or How the Fairy Bridge Was Built at Thoresby
 
Antickes and Frets
 
John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596913837
Author:
Clarke, Susanna
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Illustrator:
Vess, Charles
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Fantasy - Contemporary
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
October 2007
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
bandw illustrations throughout
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.72 x 5.03 x 0.685 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories Used Trade Paper
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$8.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596913837 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Like Clarke's first novel, the bestselling Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, these eight stories (seven previously published) are set in an England where magic is a serious but sometimes neglected field of study. The first story sees the erudite Strange tangling with country witches. Others show Austenesque concern with love and its outcomes ('Did you not hear me ask you to marry me?'), often involving fairies. In 'The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse,' the duke visits Faerie, a kingdom located on the other side of the wall in the village of Wall (a location Clarke borrows from Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess), and meets a woman whose needlework affects the future. In the footnoted 'Tom Brightwind or How the Fairy Bridge...,' a 'monumental' stone bridge is built in one afternoon. Clarke humorously revisits Rumplestiltzkin in 'On Lickerish Hill,' in which it is revealed that 'Irishmen have tailes neare a quarter of a yard longe.' Clarke may have trouble reaching a new audience in short form, as the stories provide less opportunity to get lost in fantastical material, but the author's many fans will be glad to have these stories in one volume. Illus. by Charles Vess not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "If this sounds like your cup of tea with crumpets, by all means get this book and dine away. Make sure to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell first if you haven't; not so much because you need it to understand the context of the stories, but just because you really should read it. If you have read Strange and Norrell, here are some more delectable morsels from that table. Appetizers are served." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "Materials from British folklore are reworked with beguiling narrative energy and mischievous wit....Irresistible storytelling, from a splendidly gifted enchantress."
"Review" by , "Clarke has crafted eight quirky and devious stories to delight her fans....These stories are charming, engaging, and deceptively simple."
"Review" by , "[A] rich, redoubtable vision....For anyone who's been wary of taking on the terrifically intimidating tome that is Mr. Norrell, the lean, lovely, and witty Grace Adieu might just push you over the edge. (Grade: B+)"
"Review" by , "These are all elegant, entertaining stories, and many readers will be untroubled by the airy incoherences found in The Ladies of Grace Adieu. Or else, they may simply say, with Tom Brightwind, 'Who cares?'"
"Review" by , "Readers longing for the lilting language of fairy tales mixed with a dark take on the fantastical world of fairies and witches will find both in Ladies of Grace Adieu....It's easy to get swept up in these adventurous tales of spells and dark powers."
"Review" by , "The author's wry, knowing narrative voice owes debts to Jane Austen, Bram Stoker and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the delightful illustrations by Charles Vess borrow from 19th-century fairy-tale collections, art deco and Edward Gorey."
"Review" by , "Clarke...is engaged in an experiment, and it isn't entirely successful. The fault lies mainly with the framing device, a faux-scholarly introduction that seems to promise a collection wider-ranging in time and tone than what she delivers."
"Review" by , "While Ladies of Grace Adieu might inspire new readers to...pick up the 782-page Jonathan Strange, its more likely audience is those who have already finished that novel and are experiencing such withdrawal that they are perusing scientific texts about sea cucumbers, searching for footnotes."
"Synopsis" by , Following the enormous success of 2004 bestseller and critics' favorite Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Clarke delivers a delicious collection of ten stories set in the same fairy-crossed world of 19th-century England.
"Synopsis" by ,
From the author of the award-winning, internationally bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, an enchanting collection of stories. Set in versions of England that bear an uncanny resemblance to the world of Strange and Norrell, these stories are brimming with all the ingredients of good fairy tales: petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time in embroidering terrible fates, endless paths in deep, dark woods, and houses that never appear the same way twice. Their heroines and heroes include the Duke of Wellington, a conceited Regency clergyman, an eighteenth-century Jewish doctor, Mary, Queen of Scots, Jonathan Strange, and the Raven King himself. The Ladies of Grace Adieu is the perfect introduction to a world where charm is always tempered by eerieness, and picaresque comedy is always darkened by the disturbing shadow of Faerie.
Susanna Clarke is the author of the New York Times bestseller and multiple award winner Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. She lives in Cambridge, England.
From the author of the award-winning, internationally bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell comes an enchanting collection of stories. Set in versions of England that bear an uncanny resemblance to the world of Strange and Norrell, these stories contain all the ingredients of good fairy tales: petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time in embroidering terrible fates, endless paths in deep, dark woods, and houses that never appear the same way twice. Their heroines and heroes include the Duke of Wellington, a conceited Regency clergyman, an eighteenth-century Jewish doctor, Mary, Queen of Scots, Jonathan Strange, and the Raven King himself. The Ladies of Grace Adieu is an introduction to a world where charm is always tempered by eerieness, and picaresque comedy is always darkened by the disturbing shadow of Faerie.
"The writing is captivating, the characters charming, and the notion that perhaps there's more to reality than what our senses tell us is, as Clarke might say with a smile, simply enchanting."—Nancy Pearl, National Public Radio
 
"Eight short stories previously published between 1996 and 2004 . . . mostly offered again as careful restorations of late 18th- and early 19th-century compositions . . . They're familiar fairy tales or dovetailed traditional yarns touched up for the purposes of elegant retelling. There is a take on Rumpelstiltskin in 'On Lickerish Hill' and a reprise of the time dilations of fairyland in 'Mrs Mabb.' Needlework pictures come to life in another . . . tale called 'The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse.' Two more stories venture further back in the historical timeline, with Tudor and vaguely medieval settings . . . The prose . . . is consistently flawless and beautiful. Reading Clarke is like inspecting some wonderful antiquated craft, such as marquetry or fine hand embroidery."—Graham Joyce, The Washington Post Book World
 
"The eight stories in Ladies of Grace resemble Jonathan Strange in that fantastical creations change history, the 19th century takes on a modern spin, and charm and sophistication ooze off the pages. Here, Susanna Clarke casts a close eye on women, from fairies to damsels in distress—who, not surprisingly, tend to save themselves."—Bookmarks Magazine
 
"Revisiting characters and landscapes she created in her best-selling Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Clarke has crafted eight quirky and devious stories to delight her fans. In the title story, Mr. Strange himself reappears and tangles with three country witches . . . In 'The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse,' the redoubtable hero follows his horse into Wall, a village created by Neil Gaiman, and encounters a woman whose embroidery tells the future. The story set farthest back in time has Mary, Queen of Scots, trying to kill Queen Elizabeth with a skirt. And in the final story, the Raven King himself is outwitted by his lowliest subject. All but one of the stories takes place in or around 1811, and Clarke uses the language, diction, and historical settings beautifully, just hinting at Jane Austen. Each character is elegantly drawn and comes to life on the page. These stories are charming, engaging, and deceptively simple."—Elizabeth Dickie, Booklist
 
“Materials from British folklore are reworked with beguiling narrative energy and mischievous wit in this first collection from the English author of the wonderful adult fantasy Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Two of that book's major characters make vivid reappearances here. In ‘John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner, the legendary magician the Raven King (aka Uskglass) tramples on a humble woodsman's property while hunting, and is himself humbled when his victim enlists various saints to redress his grievance. In the amusing title story, gentleman sorcerer Jonathan Strange discovers during a country visit that ‘the magic of wild creatures [notably owls] and the magic of women are indeed a match for his own. Elsewhere, Mary Queen of Scots, while imprisoned by her rival, England's Elizabeth I, plots revenge through the medium of pictorial embroidery: Still, Elizabeth survives, and Mary loses her head (in ‘Antickes and Frets). That tactic achieves better results when a British military hero strays into a remote domicile ruled by similar domestic magic (in ‘The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse). Odd things will happen, evidently, when mortals join forces or contend with fairy folk. ‘Tom Brightwind and How the Fairy Bridge Was Built at Thoresby describes how Tom, a vainglorious and dictatorial otherworldly paterfamilias, is gently persuaded by his best human friend to improve the fortunes of the inhabitants of Thoresby, a village hitherto cut off from the world beyond it. Less benign supernatural intervention operates in tales relating an unhappy young wife's risky escape from her boring old husband (‘On Lickerish Hill); a forsaken fiancee's perilous dealings with the fairy temptress (‘Mrs. Mabb) who has stolen her beloved; and, in ‘Mr. Simonelli or The Fairy Widower, a country cleric's refusal to be intimidated by a ‘powerful fairy landowner's disagreeable habit of seducing and exploiting innocent young women. Irresistible storytelling, from a splendidly gifted enchantress.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“The stories (seven previously published and one original tale, ‘John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner) deal with fairies and the history of English magic, and are told in the same Victorian style that made Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell so distinct. Prebble (who also narrated Jonathan Strange) returns and once again triumphantly brings Clarke's richly imagined world to life. Sharing narrative duties this time around is Porter, who is equally skilled at playing prim and high-born ladies as she is using more folksy tones in ‘On Lickerish Hill . . . A lyrical and thoroughly enjoyable collection from a burgeoning master of fantasy literature.”—Publishers Weekly
"Synopsis" by ,
From the author of the award-winning, internationally bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, an enchanting collection of stories. Set in versions of England that bear an uncanny resemblance to the world of Strange and Norrell, these stories are brimming with all the ingredients of good fairy tales: petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time in embroidering terrible fates, endless paths in deep, dark woods, and houses that never appear the same way twice. Their heroines and heroes include the Duke of Wellington, a conceited Regency clergyman, an eighteenth-century Jewish doctor, Mary, Queen of Scots, Jonathan Strange, and the Raven King himself. The Ladies of Grace Adieu is the perfect introduction to a world where charm is always tempered by eerieness, and picaresque comedy is always darkened by the disturbing shadow of Faerie.
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