Well, this feels uncomfortably familiar

March 21, 2008

…Mrs Redmond remarked to her husband, “Mr Strange is going to be a magician, my love.” She spoke as if it were the most natural thing in the world, because to her it was.

“A magician?” said Henry, quite astonished. “Why should you want to do that?”

Strange paused. He did not wish to tell his real reason – which was to impress Arabella with his determination to do something sober and scholarly – and so he fell back upon the only other explanation he could think of. “I met a man uder a hedge at Monk Gretton who told me I was a magician.”

Mr Redmond laughed, approving the joke. “Excellent!” he said.

“Did you, indeed?” said Mrs Redmond.

“I do not understand,” said Henry Woodhope.

“You do not believe me, I suppose?” said Strange to Arabella

“Oh, on the contrary, Mr Strange!” said Arabella with an amused smile. “It is all of a piece with your usual way of doing things. It is quite as strong a foundation for a career as I should expect from you.”

This is from Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, a book I had the good fortune to discover earlier this week.  I imagined it would take powerful magic for me to read fiction again.


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