When reading 19th and 20th century classics, it feels like similar kind of books won't be written again. Clarke's Strange & Norrell was a prejudice-shatterer for this feeling.

It made me to respect the literature of current century. Instead of repeating all kind of techniques that learned put in their books for a possible film-rights-sale, this book reminded that there are joys in books that we cannot fully grasp with visuals. And these are the best books by far.

Some Quotations

As to whether or not Mr Norrell was in fact old, he was the sort of man who had been old at seventeen. (page 35)

Childermass was one of that uncomfortable class of men whose birth is lowly and who are destined all their lives to serve their betters, but whose clever brains and quick abilities make them wish for recognition and rewards far beyond their reach. (page 46)

He picks up a book and begins to read, but he is not attending to what he reads and he has got to page 22 before he discovers it is a novel – the sort of work which above all others he most despises – and he puts it down in disgust. (page 48)

There were no duties attached to the place because no one could remember what the Office of Supplication was supposed to do or what the small piece of ivory was for. But (page 88)

He looked as if he had been put into the oven and baked for too long and was now rather overdone. (page 128)

[N]one of the articles which appeared in The Friends of English Magic were written by Mr Norrell, who was found to be entirely incapable of finishing a piece of writing; he was never satisfied with what he had written. (page 144)

Low spirits, Mr Black, are the very worst torment that a man can be afflicted with. (page 207)

But the other Ministers considered that to employ a magician was one thing, novelists were quite another and they would not stoop to it. (page 290)

Even the guests' boots had a faintly Portuguese air after the Portuguese bootboy had blacked them. (page 351)

[T]he music that described his whole life. He realized for the first time how full of sadness his existence was. He was surrounded by mean-spirited men and women who hated him and were secretly jealous of his talent. He knew now that every angry thought he had ever had was justified and that every generous thought was misplaced. (page 440)

"Their religion is of the strictest sort, Stephen. Almost everything is forbidden to them except carpets." (page 453)

Mr Segundus could not get rid of the feeling that the school would never actually come into being; something would occur to prevent it. This idea was constantly at the back of his thoughts, do what he would to suppress it. (page 562)

They were Englishmen and, to them, the decline of other nations was the most natural thing in the world. (page 695)

[S]o many of the signs and disfigurings of extreme old age that she was losing her resemblance to other human beings and began instead to resemble other orders of living creatures. (page 708)

"How many English magicians do you suppose have left their bones lying in this brugh? Beneath these stars?" "I have not the least idea." "Forty-seven." (page 756)

"I suppose it is because I have been many things since last we met. I have been trees and rivers and hills and stones. I have spoken to stars and earth and wind. One cannot be the conduit through which all English magic flows and still be oneself. (page 897)

[Okunandan Kalan]