The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories

Yours always
by Susanna Clarke | Science Fiction & Fantasy | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 9781596912519 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 1/19/2021
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, January 19, 2021
I found this handsome hardcover at a local Savers thrift shop, and nabbed it for another release copy.

I read Clarke's novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell some time back, and enjoyed it very much - so I immediately went looking for more of her work. And since at least one of the tales in this collection is set in the "Strange/Norrell" world, it's a plus! And this edition includes the vintage-styled illustrations of Charles Vess.

The book is set up as if published by one of the characters from the Strange/Norrell universe, in which the study of the Sidhe is a very real science, and with each story given suitable provenance - a charming touch.

The title story features Jonathan Strange himself, and as if to make up for the dearth of strong female characters in the novel, this tale introduces the magician to some women who have considerable power of their own - though they choose to wield it in a delightfully subtle way.

"On Lickerish Hill", told in country vernacular, features several fairy-tale plots re-told, including a take on "Rumpelstiltskin".

"Mrs. Mabb" features a battle between mortal and faerie - all done in an every-so-proper fashion. (I loved one bit where someone glimpses a fey procession, banners a-waving - and shrugs it off to get back to her tea.)

"The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse" is set in the world of Gaiman and Vess' Stardust, but ties in very well with the Strange/Norrell world of faerie - and it's both funny and a wee bit alarming.

"Tom Brightwind" is supposedly the story of the building of a faerie bridge - and it includes several of the immense and detailed footnotes whose presence throughout Strange/Norrell tickled me so much.

"Antickes and Frets" stars Mary, Queen of Scots, during her imprisonment by Queen Elizabeth, and features some intriguing scenes of magic-via-embroidery.

"John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner" gives us a better look at the enigmatic Raven King from Strange/Norrell - here, with Uskglass getting something of a comeuppance from the humbly-born charcoal burner of the title.

Beautiful prose, great atmosphere - very good collection!

[There's a short TV Tropes page on this book that may be of interest, but do beware of spoilers.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Walnut St in Manchester, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Released 1 mo ago (1/21/2021 UTC) at Little Free Library, Walnut St in Manchester, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I was in the neighborhood hoping to drop some books at the newly-listed LFL on Sagamore St., but I couldn't find it - perhaps it hasn't been installed yet. Anyway, I was happy to hop over a couple of blocks and leave this book in this LFL. Hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2021 Clean Start for the New Year challenge, for the embedded "Ace" in the title. ***

*** Released for the 2021 52 Towns in 52 Weeks challenge. ***

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