Showing posts from January, 2023

A Susanna Clarke Christmas

 In these chilled-out days that bring the Christmas season to an end and crank the new year into a slow beginning, I’m looking back over the benign influence of Susanna Clarke on the Christmas I’ve just had. It began well before Christmas - in November, in fact - with my annual re-read of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Such a comfort read during the long, dark nights!  Then there was the happy discovery of a short story by Susanna Clarke on BBC Sounds (radio and podcast app). “ The Wood at Midwinter ” is about a 19th century girl called Merowdis who converses with animals, and sees the wood as a cathedral and the cathedral as a wood. I’m still trying to find out whether it’s based on a true story. It has all the whimsy and strangeness you would expect from Susanna Clarke. And after Christmas, I was spending some birthday money in town (yes, I have a Christmas birthday, and no, I don’t hate it) when I came across the board game of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for half price! I