Time Magazine's #1 Book of the Year
Book Sense Book of the Year
Winner of the Locus Award
Winner of the 2005 Hugo Award for Best Novel
Synopses & Reviews
Susanna Clarke's first novel and international best-seller, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
, is an utterly compelling heroic tale of nineteenth-century England and the two very different magicians who, as teacher and pupil and then as rivals, emerge to change its history.
The epic is now available as a beautiful collectable boxed set. The visually stunning set includes three paperback volumes, each bound in a different color: cranberry, black, and white.
"An instant classic, one of the finest fantasies ever written." Kirkus Reviews
"Ravishing...superb...combines the dark mythology of fantasy with the delicious social comedy of Jane Austen into a masterpiece of the genre that rivals Tolkien." Time
"Clarke welcomes herself into an exalted company of British writers not only, some might argue, Dickens and Austen, but also the fantasy legends Kenneth Grahame and George MacDonald as well as contemporary writers like Susan Cooper and Philip Pullman." New York Times Book Review
"Clarke creates a Napoleonic-era England alive with the promise and danger of uncontrollable forces....A gorgeous book of unforgettable images." People
"Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell may or may not be the finest English fantasy of the past 70 years. But it is still magnificent and original, and that should be enough for any of us." Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
"The most sparkling literary debut of the year....Susanna Clarke's magic is universal." Salon
"In a fantastically paced conclusion, the ominous horror of what's preying on England comes into focus, even as the setting shifts into the cloudy world of enchantment that Clarke captures with such haunting effect." Christian Science Monitor
"[I]mmense, intelligent, inventive, arid, and exhausting....Clarke is a restrained and witty writer with an arch and eminently readable style....Wholly original and richly imagined, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell turns out to be more admirable than lovable. (Grade: B)" Entertainment Weekly
"It may be just as well that Susanna Clarke's first novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, is nearly as big as a house, since this is the kind of book you want to move into and settle down in for a long stay. It's set in a world very much like the England of the early 1800s, only in Clarke's version magic was once a daily presence and has since been lost or perhaps merely misplaced. In other words, this world resembles the world of our own reading, for most of us can remember a time when stepping into a book was like entering into an enchantment....Susanna Clarke's magic is universal." Laura Miller, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)
"The prospect of having to read an 800-page novel billed as 'Harry Potter for adults' was enough to make this weary book critic pine for an invisibility cloak. But for those of you who, like me, can't endure another charmless opening at the Dursleys', take heart: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is no Harry Potter knockoff. It's altogether original far closer to Dickens than Rowling....Move over, little Harry. It's time for some real magic." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
Susanna Clarke's first novel and international bestseller, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
, is an utterly compelling, heroic tale of nineteenth-century England and the two very different magicians who, as teacher and pupil and then as rivals, emerge to change its history.
The epic is now available as a beautiful collectible boxed set. The visually stunning set includes three paperback volumes, each bound in a different color: cranberry, black, and white.
Two magicians shall appear in England.
The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me...
The year is 1806, and centuries have passed since practical magic faded into England's past. But as the Napoleonic Wars rage on, scholars of magic's glorious history discover that one magician remains: the reclusive Mr. Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey, whose talents send a thrill through the country. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is soon challenged by the emergence of another magician: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. As the two join forces in the war against France, Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic. In the end he will risk sacrificing not only his partnership with Norrell, but everything else that he holds dear...
An international bestseller in 31 countries, Susanna Clarke's utterly compelling first novel has captured the imagination of readers worldwide.
About the Author
Susanna Clarke was born in Nottingham, England. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is her first book, which she researched and wrote over ten years. Susanna Clarke was born in Nottingham in 1959, the eldest daughter of a Methodist Minister. From 1993 to 2003 Susanna Clarke was an editor at Simon and Schuster's Cambridge office, where she worked on their cookery list. She has published seven short stories and novellas in U.S. anthologies. One, "The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse," first appeared in a limited-edition, illustrated chapbook from Green Man Press. Another, "Mr Simonelli, or The Fairy Widower," was shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award in 2001. She lives in Cambridge, England.