The woman within the mirror drew nearer. For a moment she appeared directly behind it and they could see the elaborate embroidery and beading of her gown; then she mounted up upon the frame as a step. The surface of the mirror became softer, like a dense cloud or mist.
Centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into England’s past. Only one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell, whose magical powers – of conjuring, misdirection and resurrection – send a thrill through the country.
But cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of the brilliant Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the antithesis of Norrell. And so begins a dangerous battle between two great men whose obsessions and dabblings with the dark arts will cause more trouble than they can possibly imagine.
About the Author
Susanna Mary Clarke (born 1 November 1959) is an English author best known for her debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2004), a Hugo Award-winning alternative history. Clarke began Jonathan Strange in 1993 and worked on it during her spare time. For the next decade, she published short stories from the Strange universe, but it was not until 2003 that Bloomsbury bought her manuscript and began work on its publication. The novel became a best-seller.
Two years later, she published a collection of her short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories (2006). Both Clarke’s novel and her short stories are set in a magical England and written in a pastiche of the styles of 19th-century writers such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. While Strange focuses on the relationship of two men, Jonathan Strange and Gilbert Norrell, the stories in Ladies focus on the power women gain through magic.
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Patrick Nielsen Hayden from Brooklyn, New York (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.