Christopher Hart

Talking Statues

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

By Susanna Clarke

Bloomsbury 782pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

AFTER THE SUCCESS of other pastiche nineteenth-century door-stoppers such as Tipping the Velvet and The Crimson Petal and the White, here is another addition to that fashionable set. Although the events of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell actually take place during the Regency (between the years 1807 and 1817), in spirit it certainly has more in common with the loose, baggy works of Dickens or Thackeray, with its huge, proliferating plot and cast of colourful characters, than with a Jane Austen miniature.

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