- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (3 Sept. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0747592403
- ISBN-13: 978-0747592402
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Ladies of Grace Adieu: and Other Stories Paperback – 3 Sep 2007
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'An unholy alliance of Austen and Angela Carter' Daily Mail 'These tales read as if Jane Austen had rewritten the Brothers Grimm ... wonderful' Spectator 'Witty rejoinders and genteel manners to contrast nicely with the darker tones of hauntings, shape-changing and black magic ... Clarke is a natural storyteller' Sunday Telegraph 'It is the poise and lightness of Clarke's prose that draws the reader in' Daily Telegraph
Faerie is never as far away as you think. Sometimes you find you have crossed an invisible line and must cope, as best you can, with petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time embroidering terrible fates or with endless paths in deep, dark woods and houses that never appear the same way twice. The heroines and heroes bedevilled by such problems in these fairy tales include a conceited Regency clergyman, an eighteenth-century Jewish doctor and Mary, Queen of Scots, as well as two characters from "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: Strange himself and the Raven King".See all Product description
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Despite really enjoying this, I must say that I don't think that I would have been as captivated by it had I not read Strange and Norrell first. Nonetheless, it worked for me well, I enjoyed it and by the time I had finished it I was happy enough to read something different without feeling bereft.
Good stories, sort of Jane Austen meets Faery Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker. The authors second book, I believe, and nothing more since - perhaps the creative juices have dried up? I had heard somewhere that a further book was in the pipeline, but delayed due to ill health?
If one does get published, I will be near the front of the queue to purchase one!
The world Susanna Clarke has created - a Regency England where magic has shaped its history, magicians practice their art and one, The Raven King, once ruled the North; where fairies, malevolent or benign, exist alongside men and women who may either be helped by them or be kidnapped by them into 'other' lands - is witty, delightful and beyond compare.It's Arthurian Legend dressed in a frock coat. It's English mythos channelled through Jane Austen. I love it!
My favourite story - Mr Simonelli or The Fairy Widower -fits firmly in the latter mould with the hapless hero, a Reverend Gentleman, pitting wits with a particularly wicked fairy leading him to an unexpected discovery, whilst trying to improve his prospects by courting some rich young ladies!
In the other stories The Duke of Wellington and Mary, Queen of Scots make appearances, as does The Raven King himself in a moral tale that is as funny as it is charming.
The fact that Susanna Clarke has chosen the quality not quantity route of writing, (though JS&MN is a massive novel it took some years to write), makes each story in this book rare and precious. I await more with patience...
Great little book to help you get over JSaMN - and ease you into other reading.
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