90px|Susanna Clarke, author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is the first novel by British writer
Susanna Clarke (pictured). An alternative history set in 19th-century
England around the time of the Napoleonic Wars, it is based on the
premise that magic once existed in England and has returned with two
men: Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange. Centering on the
relationship between these two men, the novel investigates the nature
of "Englishness" and the boundary between reason and madness. It has
been described as a fantasy novel, an alternative history, and a
historical novel. The narrative draws on various Romantic literary
traditions, such as the comedy of manners, the Gothic tale, and the
Byronic hero. The novel's language is a pastiche of 19th-century
writing styles, such as those of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.
Clarke began writing Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in 1993; ten years
later she submitted the manuscript for publication. It was accepted by
Bloomsbury and published in September 2004, with illustrations by
Portia Rosenberg. The novel was well-received by critics and reached
number three on the New York Times bestseller list. It was longlisted
for the 2004 Man Booker Prize and won the 2005 Hugo Award for Best
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Today's selected anniversaries:
David , a marble sculpture by Michelangelo portraying the biblical King
David in the nude, was unveiled in Florence, Italy.
French Revolutionary Wars: The French defeated Austrian forces in
Bassano, Venetia, present-day Italy.
World War II: German forces severed the last land connection to
Leningrad, beginning the Siege of Leningrad. Over 1 million of the
city's civilians died from starvation before the siege ended on January
27, 1944, becoming one of the most lethal battles in world history.
Iranian Revolution: After the government of the Shah of Iran declared
martial law in response to protests, the Iranian Army shot and killed
at least 88 demonstrators in Tehran on Black Friday.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Not constrained, not restrained, or not confined
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Oh, he tells me tears are something to hide
And something to fear
And I try so hard to keep it inside
So no one
"Hush, hush, keep it down now.