Culture Street

Are you a fan of Period Drama? An adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s magical novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell has been in the works since it was first published in 2004. After the project collapsed, it fell into the hands of the BBC. The result is a 7-hour miniseries starring Bertie Carvel (Jonathan Strange), Eddie Marsan (Mr Norrell), Marc Warren, Alice Englert and Charlotte Riley. Take a look at the first trailer.

The book centres around two magicians in England. Centuries ago, when magic still existed in England, the greatest magician of them all was the Raven King. A human child brought up by fairies, the Raven King blended fairy wisdom and human reason to create English magic. Now, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, he is barely more than a legend, and England, with its mad King and its dashing poets, no longer believes in practical magic.

Then the reclusive Mr Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey appears and causes the statues of York Cathedral to speak and move. News spreads of the return of magic to England and, persuaded that he must help the government in the war against Napoleon, Mr Norrell goes to London. There he meets a brilliant young magician and takes him as a pupil. Jonathan Strange is charming, rich and arrogant. Together, they dazzle the country with their feats.

But the partnership soon turns to rivalry ...

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