Published in 2004, it is an alternative history set in 19th-century England around the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Its premise is that magic once existed in England and has returned with two men: Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange. Centred on the relationship between these two men, the novel investigates the nature of "Englishness" and the boundaries between reason and unreason, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Dane, and Northern and Southern English cultural tropes/stereotypes. It has been described as a fantasy novel, an alternative history, and a historical novel. It inverts the Industrial Revolution conception of the North-South divide in England: in this book the North is romantic and magical, rather than rational and concrete.
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There were a few times I got bogged down a bit in everything (especially during the war), but other than that, excellent!
Wonderful, charming, delightful! Full review: http://sffbookreview.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/susanna-clarke-jonathan-strange-mr-norrell/
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