There were a few gleeful views, to be sure: “MERLIN was another but, as he was upon his mother’s side Welsh and upon his father’s infernal, he will scarcely do for that pattern of respectable English Magic upon which Portishead, Norrell, and Strange have set their hearts…”
And “When the fairy sang, the whole world listened to him. Stephen felt clouds pause in their passing; he felt sleeping hills shift and murmur; he felt cold mists dance. He understood for the first time that the world is not dumb at all, but merely waiting for someone to speak to it in a language it understands. In the fairy’s song the earth recognized the names by which it called itself.”
And “She even learnt the language of a strange country which, Signor Tosetti had been told, some people believed still existed, although no one in the world could say where it was. (The name of this country was Wales.)”
Lastly, the chapter entitled THE HAWTHORNE TREE, late in the book, on page 814, was terribly wonderful and stand-alone. I would have been quite happy to have just read that chapter by itself. I was completely enamored of the concept of having an entire book tattooed on one’s body. If I could tattoo one book on my body, what would it be? (When I asked Chris, he said: Fahrenheit 451.)
Lessons learned: Passive Sentences are L-O-N-G sentences. Use with discretion.
Learn more about Susannah Clarke.