Check out my Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell book summary and review that I created to help you understand the basics of this great book. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Knorr Hall are Susanna Clark's first novels, written from 1992 to 2003, published by Longanesi in 2004 in England and the United States, and in 2005 in Italy. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2005.

The novel is set in the Ukrainian 19th century during the Napoleonic Wars. The story is based on the return of magic to England a hundred years later and the tumultuous relationship between the magicians of the two periods.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

The story tells the historical events and characters of that time: among them were the Duke of Wellington, Lord Byron and King George III. The style of the novel is reminiscent of what Jane Austen used in her work.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell book summary :

In the early nineteenth century, Mr Norrell returned to the island of England to practice magic. Magic was actually practiced by several magicians in the previous century including John Uskglass, the so-called Raven King, who was able to conquer a large part of the country thanks to his art.

However, as the centuries passed, the practical knowledge of magic was forgotten and the few who were proud of the title of magician were the only magic historians who reconstructed books and documents based on past events.

All this until the arrival of Narel, who, thanks to a systematic study, was able to retain very few surviving books on magic and, after in-depth study of the texts, was able to acquire effective magic abilities and become the first true magician after hundreds. Of the year

Narel, not very sociable, emerged as a perfect English gentleman of the time. It would only be for the desire to restore the brilliance of the magical art that he would agree to move to London to communicate with the most important people in the country. However, after he moved, he was given little credit even by his close acquaintances.

This attitude quickly changes when Norrell works magic to resurrect the young pole through the mediation of a fairy entity. In exchange for help, the fairy distributes the girl's little finger as a pledge and takes more than half of the girl's remaining life. This agreement is not made public by the magician.

Suddenly Narel, after this extraordinary person, became one of the most requested characters in important salons. Napoleon Bonaparte was also called upon by the authorities to help England in its difficult war against France. The spell adopted by Norrell would prove modest effectiveness against all French.

At the same time a tough campaign began, especially using the printed word and its political influence, against other magicians, both theoretical magicians and so-called street magicians (illusory and lucky). Among the latter, one of the most stubborn, restrained to resist the pressure of the narcissist, specifically known as Vinculus, continues his activity.

One evening Vinculas hid in Narel's house to give a prophecy from King Raven. The magician will be more shocked on this tour for his violated privacy than the content of the prophecy and will ensure that Vinculas will leave London once and for all.

Vinculas, during his pilgrimage, will cross his path with a young man whose father has died leaving his huge fortune. The young man's name is Jonathan Strange, who decided to take up the profession of magician after this incident. Oddly enough, the relationship between Norrell and Strange is very good from the start. The first one is as an equal to discuss magic with one in the end while the other finds a teacher to teach him the level he was able to achieve as self-taught.

Strange soon reached a point where he too could be assigned to government missions, especially in the war against France. In fact, he proved to be much more effective than Norrell, as he was much more practical in carrying out his responsibilities. It was for this reason that he was sent to Spain to assist the Duke of Wellington on the field. Meanwhile, the fairy who resurrected Lady Paul decides to demand her reward by capturing the woman in a magic that forces her to spend half her days in Senjasperanza, a castle in the fairy kingdom whose lord.

She is forced to participate in strange dances and receptions. The mantra prevents him from revealing the condition to others, who see him as increasingly tired and depressed and eventually believe that he is suffering from a mental illness. Lord Paul's servant Stephen Black was also caught in the same evil spell as a fairy.

Lastly, a low-haired gentleman likes Stephen very much and promises to make him king even if he can't decide on England or any other magical kingdom. The gentleman is also a staunch opponent of the two wizards, as Norrell is responsible for a deal that does not allow him to be Lady Paul at all, when Strange intervenes when he tries to seduce the mad King George. Perhaps because of a desire to fight between the two, he began to show interest in Strange's wife, Arbela.

Meanwhile, the relationship between Norrell and Strange has become very tense. The first hides most of his most valuable magic volume from the student in hopes of managing it according to his personal magic canon, while Strange fails to understand the limits imposed by Norrell - especially John Uskglass's image on the use and treatment of fairy animals - increasingly volatile. The conflict between the two soon reached a climax and the two decided to separate.

After again contributing to the English conquest of Waterloo in Wellington, Jonathan and his wife decided to leave London to return to their home in the north of England. But the fairy manages to abduct Arbela, convincing her husband and everyone else that she has suddenly died of a mysterious disease. Strangely, devastated by the loss of his wife, he falls into deep depression and decides to take a long trip to Italy to distract himself.

 During the journey, despite a difficult start, he became acquainted with Lord Byron and, above all, with the Grestill family, who were traveling in Italy. In particular, a strong bond is formed between the young Flora, the daughter of the magician and Dr. Grestel. While in Venice, Strange continues his magic experiments in the hope of summoning a fairy to help him improve his magic.

After much research he found a system that eventually brought him the hairless gentleman. Trying to deal with the wizard in isolation, but the latter is enraged at being called in the presence of Strange. Strange then casts a spell to take himself to the gentleman's abode. Once in Senjasperanza, however, he soon realizes that something strange is happening when he first meets Lady Paul and then Arbela, believing his wife to be dead.

Shocked at this meeting, he can do nothing against the fairy that, realizing the intrusion, throws him with a powerful spell that brings him back to Venice and envelops him in a lasting night that stretches for about a block. From the outside it looks a lot like a black and dark tower, where the sun never rises.

From the Venetian to the Austrian authorities to the English government, everyone is deeply disturbed in the dark column. Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, i'll tell ya. The latter, though shocked by the consequences of the spell and the state of absolute solitude where he finds himself, continues to deepen his sorcery in the hope of resisting the fairy and saving his wife.

To make matters worse, the intervention of Narel, who does not prevent the spread of rumors by his associates that in reality Strange practices black magic and that he is responsible for his wife's death. Finally thanks to the strange, acquired new knowledge, manages to awaken English magic all over the island, so much so that many people spontaneously start spelling work.

 It's time for him to return to England to meet Narel. He fears that his old student wants revenge, but the two magicians re-discover together that the old friendship never broke. In fact, Strange sought Norrell's help and access to his vast library of magic books to defeat the magical fairy, who had already committed many crimes.

 The two try in vain to call the Raven King and ask him for help, but for a supervision they give Stephen Black extraordinary power over the forces of nature. The latter exploits his new power shortly before he reveals another deadly mantra to destroy the low-haired gentleman. Defeating the fairy entity, even Arbela is finally free to return to the real world.

The only magic that prevents the disappearance of its creator is the black column that captures Strange and Norle since entering. Not being too dissatisfied with the new situation, the two decided to deepen their research by traveling to the fairy kingdom.

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