ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Critique Of Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell

Updated on July 27, 2015

I listened to this audio book while working stocking shelves for a retail chain on graveyards about 6 years ago. What else did I have to do with my time? It was somewhat interesting but it wasn’t half as interesting as American Gods by Neil Gaiman that I had listened to previously, however that is a hard book to live up to, it is excellent. I was glad to see that book is being brought to film as well. I have been waiting a long time.

However, when I saw the advertisements for the miniseries on BBC America for Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, I was actually excited to watch it as it looked like an incredibly interesting television series. Once I began to watch the first episode, I realized that it was actually a fantastic series right from the beginning. Some things when they are put to film, do much better then their novels. This was one of those times. The acting was outstanding, Bertie Carval and Eddie Marsan did an excellent job as the two rival magicians, and the whole supporting cast was wonderful.

I ended up watching it every episode without fail. The period costumes and buildings and London itself from the time Napoleonic Era were very well done. The fairy kingdom and “The Gentleman” were just as I pictured from the book which was literally enchanting. Along with the rival magicians, Jonathan also had a relationship with his wife that was of great importance to the book. The travels to Venice and around the English countryside were also very interesting along with the lore about the “Raven King”.


I was surprised at how dark the television series was. The book hadn’t appeared that dark to me. But there were individuals being brought back from the dead, missing fingers, bargains made that were not known to the person making the bargain. The switching out of a human with a changeling. The fairy lore was dark as it had actually been in the U.K. The Faeries actually being untrustworthy and dangerous folks that were not easily controlled. The character “The Gentleman” in the story, actually attempts to assassinate the King of England.

Jonathan Strange learns about the horrors of war working as the English magician helping his country to win the war. Also, just how quickly those that are not magicians can turn on those that practice magic. As Jonathan delves more and more in the dangerous arts, literally making himself go mad, the story becomes darker and darker, until he uncovers the truth about what has happened and how he has been tricked. He does this at the expense of his own health and sanity. Norrell who was once his rival, turns out to be his one and only friend as they eventually work together. Jonathan Strange with his natural talent and Norrell with his book smarts. The end of the tale leaves you wondering if there will be a part II. Because it leaves it open for that.

I would say that BBC has yet again done an excellent job with fantasy and Sci-Fi. But then anything they tend to work on these days turns to gold. One thing about the U.K. is that they definitely know how to entertain. I have never enjoyed shows like I do Doctor Who, Orphan Black and Sherlock. They do this without a Hollywood budget too. For over a century they have also given us some of the most fantastic performers and actors the world has ever seen. I would say that this television series would attest to that.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)