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Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Susanna Clarke
UC: Sacnned by unknown
v1.0 ImagineMB: I have looked for places to buy this ebook, and to no avail.
This copy looks as if it was scanned in and was highly garbled, had distracting formatting,
and quite incomprehensible in places.
I edited this as a hobby while reading it to make it more readable, but it's still not perfect. I
tried my best not to alter the words and just to fix mistakes, but in some cases I did make a
guess as to what a lost word might be. In cases where I simply could not figure out what was
supposed to be there, I left the characters there as is. Also, I am an American and might
have inadvertantly changed a few British English words.
v1.1 Dajala: Joined all broken lines and then went back and fixed the footnotes that were
affected in this process. Tidied up a couple of OCR errors and made some formatting
v1.2 Dajala: Corrected paragraph errors, linebeaks. Put all quoted speech on the same line
etc... Treeware is required to to any more.
First published 2004
Copyright 2004 by Susanna Clarke
The moral right of the author has been asserted
Bloomsbury Publishing Pic, 38 Soho Square, London VVID 3HB
A CIP catalogue for this book is available from the British Library
Hardback ISBN 0 7475 7055 8
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Paperback ISBN 0 7475 7411 1
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
In memory of my brother, Paul Frederick Gunn Clarke, 1961-2000
Volume I: Mr Norrell
The library at Hurtfew
The Old Starre Inn
The stones of York
The Friends of English Magic

"Magic is not respectable, sir."
An opportunity unlikely to occur again
A gentleman with thistle-down hair 82
Lady Pole
The difficulty of finding employment for a magician
Brest 101
The Spirit of English Magic urges Mr Norrell to the Aid of Britannia
The magician of Threadneedle-street
Heart-break Farm
"How is Lady Pole?" 136
The unaccountable appearance of twenty-live guineas
Sir Walter consults gentlemen in several professions
The Peep-O'Day-Boys
The unlikely milliner 176
The cards of Marseilles
The Knight of Wands
Volume II: Jonathan Strange
The Shadow House 209
Another magician
The education of a magician
Orb, crown and sceptre
The magician's wife 258
The Duke of Roxburghe's library
At the house of José Estoril 285

The book of Robert Findhelm
Seventeen dead Neapolitans
The King
Place the moon at my eyes 359
On the edge of the desert
The Nottinghamshire gentleman
All the mirrors of the world 386
The Cinque Dragowncs
From The Edinburgh Review
The two magicians 415
"Depend upon it; there is no such place." 430
Strange decides to write a book
The curious adventure of Mr Hyde 472
Volume III: John Uskglass
Prologue to The History and Practice of English Magic 495
"The sky spoke to me ..."
"A black lad and a blue fella - that ought to mean summat." 514
The Engravings
Wildness and madness
The History and Practice of English Magic
A family by the name of Greysteel 568
The old lady of Cannaregio 578
A little dead grey mouse

A little box, the colour of heartache 599
The second shall see his dearest possession in his enemy's hand
The Black Tower
The Black Letters
Henry Woodhope pays a visit
Leucrocuta, the Wolf of the Evening
Tempest and lies
Tree speaks to Stone; Stone speaks to Water
I came to them in a cry that broke the silence of a winter wood 697
The first shall bury his heart in a dark wood beneath the snow, yet still feel its ache
Two versions of Lady Pole 721
The ashes, the pearls, the counterpane and the kiss
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
The hawthorn tree
"Yes." 759
Strangites and Norrellites
The library at Hurtfew
Autumn 1806-January 1807
Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians. They met upon the
third Wednesday of every month and read each other long, dull papers upon the history of
English magic.
They were gentleman-magicians, which is to say they had never harmed any one by magic -
nor ever done any one the slightest good. In fact, to own the truth, not one of these
magicians had ever cast the smallest spell, nor by magic caused one leaf to tremble upon a
tree, made one mote of dust to alter its course or changed a single hair upon any one's
head. But, with this one minor reservation, they enjoyed a reputation as some of the wisest
and most magical gentlemen in Yorkshire.
A great magician has said of his profession that its practitioners ". . . must pound and rack
their brains to make the least learning go in, but quarrelling always comes very naturally to
them, "I and the York magicians had proved the truth of this for a number of years.

In the autumn of 1806 they received an addition in a gentleman called John Segundus. At
the first meeting that he attended Mr Segundus rose and addressed the society. He began
by complimenting the gentlemen upon their distinguished history; he listed the many
celebrated magicians and historians that had at one time or another belonged to the York
society. He hinted that it had been no small inducement to him in coming to York to know of
the existence of such a society. Northern magicians, he reminded his audience, had always
been better respected than southern ones. Mr Segundus said that he had studied magic for
many years and knew the histories of all the great magicians of long ago. He read the new
publications upon the subject and had even made a modest contribution to their number, but
recently he had begun to wonder why the great feats of magic that he read about remained
on the pages of his book and were no longer seen in the street or written about in the
newspapers. Mr Segundus wished to know, he said, why modern magicians were unable to
work the magic they wrote about. In short, he wished to know why there was no more magic
done in England.
*The History and Practice of English Magic, by Jonathan Strange, vol. 1, chap. 2, pub. John
Murray, London, 1816.
It was the most commonplace question in the world. It was the question which, sooner or
later, every child in the kingdom asks his governess or his schoolmaster or his parent. Yet
the learned members of the York society did not at all like hearing it asked and the reason
was this: they were no more able to answer it than any one else.
The President of the York society (whose name was Dr Foxcastle) turned to John Segundus
and explained that the question was a wrong one. "It presupposes that magicians have
some sort of duty to do magic which is clearly nonsense. You would not, I imagine, suggest
that it is the task of botanists to devise more flowers? Or that astronomers should labour to
rearrange the stars? Magicians, Mr Segundus, study magic which was done long ago. Why
should any one expect more?"
An elderly gentleman with faint blue eyes and faintly-coloured clothes (called either Hart or
Hunt Mr Segundus could never quite catch the name) faintly said that it did not matter in the
least whether any body expected it or not. A gentleman could not do magic. Magic was what
street sorcerers pretended to do in order to rob children of their pennies. Magic (in the
practical sense) was much fallen off. It had low connexions. It was the bosom companion of
unshaven faces, gypsies, house-breakers; the frequenter of dingy rooms with dirty yellow
curtains. Oh no! A gentleman could not do magic. A gentleman might study the history of
magic (nothing could be nobler) but he could not do any. The elderly gentleman looked with
faint, fatherly eyes at Mr Segundus and said that he hoped Mr Segundus had not been trying
to cast spells.
Mr Segundus blushed.
But the famous magician's maxim held true: two magicians - in this case Dr Foxcastle and
Mr Hunt or Hart could not agree without two more thinking the exact opposite. Several of the
gentlemen began to discover that they were entirely of Mr Segundus's opinion and that no
question in all of magical scholarship could be so important as this one. Chief among Mr
Segundus's supporters was a gentleman called Honeyfbot, a pleasant, friendly sort of man
of fifty-five, with a red face and grey hair. As the exchanges became more bitter and Dr
Foxcastle grew in sarcasm towards Mr Segundus, Mr Honeyfoot turned to him several times

and whispered such comfort as, "Do not mind them, sir. I am entirely of your opinion!" and
"You are quite right, sir, do not let them sway you;" and "You have hit upon it! Indeed you
have, sir! It was the want of the right question which held us back before. Now that you are
come we shall do great things."
Such kind words as these did not fail to find a grateful listener in John Segundus, whose
shock showed clearly in his face. "I fear that I have made myself disagreeable," he
whispered to Mr Honeyfoot. "That was not my intention. I had hoped for these gentlemen's
good opinion."
At first Mr Segundus was inclined to be downcast but a particularly spiteful outburst from Dr
Foxcastle roused him to a little indignation. "That gentleman," said Dr Foxcastle, fixing Mr
Segundus with a cold stare, "seems determined that we should share in the unhappy fate of
the Society of Manchester Magicians!"
Mr Segundus inclined his head towards Mr Honeyfoot and said, "I had not expected to find
the magicians of Yorkshire quite so obstinate. If magic does not have friends in Yorkshire
where may we find them?"
Mr Honeyfoot's kindness to Mr Segundus did not end with that evening. He invited Mr
Segundus to his house in High-Petergate to eat a good dinner in company with Mrs
Honeyfoot and her three pretty daughters, which Mr Segundus, who was a single gentleman
and not rich, was glad to do. After dinner Miss Honeyfoot played the pianoforte and Miss
Jane sang in Italian.
The next day Mrs Honeyfoot told her husband that John Segundus was exactly what a
gentleman should be, but she feared he would never profit by it for it was not the fashion to
be modest and quiet and kindhearted.
The intimacy between the two gentlemen advanced very rapidly. Soon Mr Segundus was
spending two or three evenings out of every seven at the house in High-Petergate. Once
there was quite a crowd of young people present which naturally led to dancing. It was all
very delightful but often Mr Honeyfoot and Mr Segundus would slip away to discuss the one
thing which really interested both of them why was there no more magic done in England?
But talk as they would (often till two or three in the morning) they came no nearer to an
answer; and perhaps this was not so very remarkable, for all sorts of magicians and
antiquarians and scholars had been asking the same question for rather more than two
hundred years.
Mr Honeyfoot was a tall, cheerful, smiling gentleman with a great deal of energy, who always
liked to be doing or planning something, rarely thinking to inquire whether that something
were to the purpose. The present task put him very much in mind of the great mediaeval
magicians,* who, whenever they had some seemingly impossible problem to solve, would
ride away for a year and a day with only a fairy-servant or two to guide them and at the end
of this time never failed to find the answer. Mr Honeyfoot told Mr Segundus that in his
opinion they could not do better than emulate these great men, some of whom had gone to
the most retired parts of England and Scotland and Ireland (where magic was strongest)
while others had ridden out of this world entirely and no one nowadays was quite clear about
where they had gone or what they had done when they got there. Mr Honeyfoot did not
propose going quite so far indeed he did not wish to go far at all because it was winter and
the roads were very shocking. Nevertheless he was strongly persuaded that they should go
somewhere and consult someone. He told Mr Segundus that he thought they were both
growing stale; the advantage of a fresh opinion would be immense. But no destination, no

object presented itself. Mr Honeyfoot was in despair: and then he thought of the other
*More properly called Aureate or Golden Age magicians.
Some years before, the York society had heard rumours that there was another magician in
Yorkshire. This gentleman lived in a very retired part of the country where (it was said ) he
passed his days and nights studying rare magical texts in his wonderful library. Dr Foxcastle
had found out the other magician's name and where he might be found, and had written a
polite letter inviting the other magician to become a member of the York society. The other
magician had written back, expressing his sense of the honour done him and his deep
regret: he was quite unable -- the long distance between York and Hurtfew Abbey -- the
indifferent roads -- the work that he could on no account neglect ¦-etc., etc.
The York magicians had all looked over the letter and expressed their doubts that any body
with such small handwriting could ever make a tolerable magician. Then -- with some slight
regret for the wonderful library they would never see they had dismissed the other magician
from their thoughts. But Mr Honeyfoot said to Mr Segundus that the importance of the
question, "Why was there no more magic done in England:'" was such that it would be very
wrong of them to neglect any opening. Who could say? the other magician's opinion might
be worth-having. And so he wrote a letter proposing that he and Mr Segundus give
themselves the satisfaction of waiting on the other magician on the third Tuesday after
Christmas at half past two. A reply came very promptly; Mr Honeyfoot with his customary
good nature and good fellowship immediately .sent for Mr Segundus and shewed him the
letter. The other magician wrote in his small handwriting that he would be very happy in the
acquaintance. This was enough. Mr Honeyfoot was very well pleased and instantly strode off
to tell Waters, the coachman, when he would be needed.
Mr Segundus was left alone in the room with the letter in his hand. He read:
"'. . .I am, I confess, somewhat at a loss to account for the sudden honour done to me. It is
scarcely conceivable that the magicians of York with all the happiness of each other's
society and the incalculable benefit of each other's wisdom should feel any necessity to
consult a solitary scholar such as myself. . ."
There was an air of subtle sarcasm about the letter; the writer seemed to rnoek Mr
Honeyfoot with every word. Mr Segundus was glad to reflect that Mr Honeyfoot could
scarcely have noticed or he would not have gone with such elated spirits to speak to
Waters. It was such a very unfriendly letter that Mr Segundus found that all his desire to look
upon the other magician had quite evaporated. Well, no matter, he thought, I must go
because Mr Honeyfoot wishes it - and what, after all, is the worst that can happen? We will
see him and be disappointed and that will be an end of it.
The day of the visit was preceded by stormy weather; rain had made long ragged pools in
the bare, brown fields; wet roofs were like cold stone mirrors; and Mr Honeyfoot's
post-chaise travelled through a world that seemed to contain a much higher proportion of
chill grey sky and a much smaller one of solid comfortable earth than was usually the case.
Ever since the first evening Mr Segundus had been intending to ask Mr Honeyfoot about the
Learned Society of Magicians of Manchester which Dr Foxcastle had mentioned. He did so

"It was a society of quite recent foundation," said Mr Honeyfoot, "and its members were
clergymen of the poorer sort, respectable ex-tradesmen, apothecaries, lawyers, retired mill
owners who had got up a little Latin and so forth, such people as might be termed
half-gentlemen. I behexe Dr Foxcastle was glad when they disbanded he does not think that
people of that sort have any business becoming magicians. And yet. you know, there were
several clever men among them. They began, as you did, with the aim of bringing back
practical magic to the world. They were practical men and wished to apply the principles of
reason and science to magic as they had done to the manufacturing arts. They called it
"Rational Thaumaturgy". When it did not work they became discouraged. Well, they cannot
be blamed for that. But they let their disillusionment lead them into all sorts of difficulties.
They began to think that there was not now nor ever had been magic in the world. they said
that the Aureate magicians were all deceivers or were themselves deceived. And that the
Raven King was an invention of the northern English to keep themselves from the tyranny of
the south (being north-country men themselves they had some sympathy with that). Oh, their
arguments were very ingenious I forget how they explained fairies. They disbanded, as I told
you, and one of them, whose name was Aubrey I think, meant to write it all down and publish
it. But when it came to the point he found that a sort of fixed melancholy had settled on him
and he was not able to rouse himself enough to begin."
"Poor gentleman," said Mr Segundus. "Perhaps it is the age. It is not an age for magic or
scholarship, is it sir? Tradesmen prosper, sailors, politicians, but not magicians. Our time is
past." He thought for a moment. "Three years ago," he said. "I was in London and I met with
a street magician, a vagabonding, yellow-curtain sort of fellow with a strange disfiguration.
This man persuaded me to part with quite a high sum of money in return for which he
promised to tell me a great secret. When I had paid him the money he told me that one day
magic would be restored to England by two magicians. Now I do not at all believe in
prophecies, yet it is thinking on what he said that has determined me to discover the truth of
our fallen state -- is not that strange?"
"You were entirely right - prophecies are great nonsense," said Mr Honeyfoot, laughing. And
then, as if struck by a thought, he said, "We are two magicians. Honeyfoot and Segundus,"
he said trying it out, as if thinking how it would look in the newspapers and history books,
"Honeyfoot and Segundus - it sounds very well."
Mr Segundus shook his head. "The fellow knew my profession and it was only to be
expected that he should pretend to me that I was one of the two men. But in the end he told
me quite plainly that I was not. At first it seemed as if he was not sure of it. There was
something about me . . . He made me write down my name and looked at it a good long
"I expect he could see there was no more money to be got out of you," said Mr Honeyfoot.
Hurtfew Abbey was some fourteen miles north-west of York. The antiquity was all in the
name. There had been an abbey but that was long ago; the present house had been built in
the reign of Anne. It was very handsome and square and solid-looking in a fine park lull of
ghostly-looking wet trees (for the day was becoming rather misty). A river (called the Hurt)
ran through the park and a fine classical-looking bridge led across it.
The other magician (whose name was Norrell) was in the hall to receive his guests. He was
small, like his handwriting, and his voice when he welcomed them to Hurtfew was rather
quiet as if he were not used to speaking his thoughts out loud. Mr Honeyfoot who was a little
deaf did not catch what he said, "I get old, sir - a common failing. I hope you will bear with

Mr Norrell led his guests to a handsome drawing-room with a good fire burning in the hearth.
No candles had been lit; two fine windows gave plenty of light to see by although it was a
grey sort of light and not at all cheerful. Yet the idea of a second fire, or candles, burning
somewhere in the room kept occurring to Mr Segundus, so that he continually turned in his
chair and looked about him to discover where they might be. But there never was any thing
-- only perhaps a mirror or an antique clock.
Mr Norrell said that he had read Mr Scgundus's account of the careers of Martin Pale's
fairy-servants.' "A creditable piece of work, sir, but you left out Master Fallowthought. A very
minor spirit certainly, whose usefulness to the great Dr Pale was questionable! Nevertheless
your little history was incomplete without him."'
There was a pause. "A fairy-spirit called Fallowthought, sir?" said Mr Segundus, "I ... that is
... that is to say I never heard of any such creature in this world or any other."
Mr Norrell smiled for the first time - but it was an inward sort of smile. "Of course," he said, "I
am forgetting. It is all in Holgarth and Pickle's history of their own dealings with Master
Fallowthought, which you could scarcely have read. I congratulate you - they were an
unsavoury pair - more criminal than magical: the less one knows of them the better."
"Ah, sir!" cried Mr Honeyfoot, suspecting that Mr Norrell was speaking of one of his books.
"We hear marvellous things of your library. All the magicians in Yorkshire fell into fits of
jealousy when they heard of the great number of books you had got!"
"Indeed:'" said Mr Norrell coldly. "You surprize me. I had no idea my affairs were so
commonly known ... I expect it is Thoroughgood," he said thoughtfully, naming a man who
sold books and curiosities in Coffee-yard in York. "Childermass has warned me several
times that Thoroughgood is a chatterer."
Mr Honeyfoot did not quite understand this. If he had had such quantities of magical books
he would have loved to talk of them, be complimented on them, and have them admired; and
he could not believe that Mr Norrell was not the same. Meaning therefore to be kind and to
set Mr Norrell at his ease (for he had taken it into his head that the gentleman was shy) he
persisted: "Might I be permitted to express a wish, sir, that we might see your wonderful
A Complete Description of Dr Pale's fairy-servants, their Names, Histories. Characters and
the Services they performed for Him by John Segundus, pub. by Thomas Buniliam,
Bookseller. Northampton, 1799.
Dr Martin Pale : 1485 1567: was the son of a Warwick leather-tanner. He was the last of the
Aureate or Golden Age magicians. Other magicians followed him i.e. Gregory Absalom but
their reputations are debatable. Pale was certainly the last English magician to venture into
Mr Segundus was certain that Norrell would refuse, but instead Mr norrell regarded them
steadily for some moments (he had small blue eyes and seemed to peep out at them from
some secret place inside himself) and then, almost graciously, he granted Mr Honeyfoot's

request. Mr Honeyfoot was all gratitude, happy in the belief that he had pleased Mr Norrell
as much as himself.
Mr Norrell led the other two gentlemen along a passage a very ordinary passage, thought Mr
Segundus, panelled and floored with well-polished oak, and smelling of beeswax; then there
was a staircase, or perhaps only three or four steps; and then another passage where the
air was somewhat colder and the floor was good York stone: all entirely unremarkable.
(Unless the second passage had come before the staircase or steps? Or had there in truth
been a staircase at all?) Mr Segundus was one of those happy gentlemen who can always
say whether they face north or south, east or west. It was not a talent he took any particular
pride in - it was as natural to him as knowing that his head still stood upon his shoulders but
in Mr Norrell's house his gift deserted him. He could never afterwards picture the sequence
of passageways and rooms through which they had passed, nor quite decide how long they
had taken to reach the library. And he could not tell the direction; it seemed to him as if Mr
Norrell had discovered some fifth point of the compass not east, nor south, nor west, nor
north, but somewhere quite different and this was the direction in which he led them. Mr
Honeyfoot, on the other hand, did not appear to notice any thing odd.
The library was perhaps a little smaller than the drawing-room they had just quitted. There
was a noble fire in the hearth and all was comfort and quiet. Yet once again the light within
the room did not seem to accord with the three tall twelve-paned windows, so that once
again Mr Segundus was made uncomfortable by a persistent feeling that there ought to
have been other candles in the room, other windows or another fire to account for the light.
What windows there were looked out upon a wide expanse of dusky English rain so that Mr
Segundus could not make out the view nor guess where in the house they stood.
The room was not empty; there was a man sitting at a table who rose as they entered, and
whom Mr Norrell briefly declared to be Childermass, his man of business.
Mr Honeyfoot and Mr Segundus, being magicians themselves, had not needed to be told
that the library of Hurtfew Abbey was dearer to its possessor than all his other riches; and
they were not surprized to discover that Mr Norrell had constructed a beautiful jewel box to
house his heart's treasure.
The bookcases which lined the walls of the room were built of English woods and
resembled Gothic arches laden with carvings. There were carvings of leaves (dried and
twisted leaves, as if the season the artist had intended to represent were autumn), carvings
of intertwining roots and branches, carvings of berries and ivy -- all wonderfully done. But the
wonder of the bookcases was nothing to the wonder of the books.
The first thing a student of magic learns is that there are books about magic and books of
magic. And the second thing he learns is that a perfectly respectable example of the former
may be had for two or three guineas al a good bookseller, and that the value of the latter is
above rubies. ' The collection of the York society was reckoned very fine almost remarkable;
among its many volumes were five works written between 1550 and 1700 and which might
reasonably be claimed as books of magic (though one was no more than a couple of
ragged pages). Books of magic are rare and neither Mr Segundus nor Mr Honeyfoot had
ever seen more than two or three in a private library. At Hurtfew all the walls were lined with
bookshelves and all the shelves were filled with books. And the books were all, or almost all,
old books; books of magic. Oh! to be sure many had clean modern bindings, but clearly
these were volumes which Mr Norrell had had rebound (he favoured, it seemed, plain calf
with the titles stamped in neat silver capitals). But many had bindings that were old, old, old,