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Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell


Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell Magic is back in England. A decade ago, the author Susanna Clarke released her first and only novel: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell became a sensation. The author Neil Gaiman pronounced it “unquestionably, the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last 70 years.” Set during the Napoleonic Wars, the story combines history and fantasy. A shy country gentleman, Mr. Norrell, teams up with a dashing hero Jonathan Strange, to save England with magic — and now, it has been made into a seven-episode TV series. The new series Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell debuted in the UK last month and it premieres on BBC America tonight. However, you can watch the first episode now right here.

jonathan-strange-and-mr-norrellIt seems as if people want more great stories with magic to move the plots. Set in the 1800s, Magic had once existed in England but it has long faded — that is until the reclusive Mr Norrell is discovered in Yorkshire. He comes to London to offer the government his services as a magician, but rising politician Sir Walter Pole refuses to align himself with such a disrespectable art. Disconsolate at his lack of success, Mr Norrell is set to return home, until news comes of the death of Sir Walter’s sickly, and wealthy, fiancée. Mr Norrell makes a dangerous pact with a mysterious Gentleman to restore her to life, proving magic respectable and establishing himself as the greatest magician in the land. Meanwhile, the charming and dissolute Jonathan Strange, more interested in drinking wine and winning the hand of the beautiful Arabella than reading dusty magical books, discovers he too has magical powers.

Listen to this story from NPR

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