Friday 10 September 2021

Friday Fics Fix - Not That Strange


'The great fairy incident of 1822 was depicted in many paintings, the most famous of them being The Seelie Siege of London by an unknown painter with a penchant for alliteration.'


'Fics Fix!' with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke is a behemoth of a book.

It's over 1000 pages of alternate history, set in a world where the titular characters are bringing magic back to England, against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.

The BBC adaptation from 2015 is a thing of immense beauty, and I recommend watching it, whether or not you feel like reading the novel (#BookishRebel 😎😘)

- Seriously, it's worth it, if only to see Marc Warren's performance as The Gentleman (known in the book as The Gentleman With the Thistledown Hair.) He's amazing.

The main problem that I've always had with the book - and to a lesser extent the series - is this notion of 'English' fairies and magic.

The Celtic nations are entirely ignored to the point of non-existence in the book, despite discussing the supposed old magic of the land, and the fairy roads.

Clarke doesn't seem to know the difference between England - the nation which developed from the cultural domination of the Anglo-Saxons - and Britain as a whole, also known as Albion, which is the entire main island of the UK.

I could go on, but this post isn't about my issues with the book's ignorance of the interplay between British nations and mythologies, so I'll leave it there.

What Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell gives us is a piece of magic, written in a faux-archaic (fakey-ye-olde-timey) style, complete with footnotes.

It's rich, it's intriguing, and there's a lot going on.

And this week's piece of fanfiction captures that magic, complete with footnotes. 

(And a lot of John Childermass, who is a much under-appreciated character.)

Jonathan Strange pulling power from the beach
Via Giphy

This fic is a continuation of the story, taking up events where Clarke leaves them.

As such there's a butt-tonne of SPOILERS, OK? SPOILERS EVERYWHERE!!!


Couple of things to be aware of here:

Much like the source material, the fic uses the word 'madness' in numerous and uncomfortable ways.

There's also some vague general violence/war, and some corpse/zombie stuff, albeit brief.

As always, I might've forgotten something, so please be careful while reading!

This week's fic, then, is:

The Path of Dreaming Dared by gentlezombie

Have you read or seen Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell?

Does it seem like a book you'd read?

Talk to me! 😊💬

You can follow me on Twitter @CeeDoraReads, on Pinterest, and on Dora Reads @ BlogLovin. For more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page

Previous Friday Fics Fix Post:

Sharing and commenting is magic! 💖

← Previous Post


  1. I've heard of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, but I've never read it. Since it is so big, I don't think I could stay realistically engaged throughout it all. That being said, I'm a big fan of watching other adaptations if the book isn't my thing, so I will look out for the BBC adaptation!

    1. I don't think I ever would've taken on the book if I hadn't seen the series first, no lie! Lol.


Comments? I love comments! Talk to me nerdlets!