TV Club: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: “The Black Tower”

“How does one work a little madness in oneself?”

Formerly charming, devil-may-care Jonathan Strange has been stricken by grief; he only cares about bringing Arabella back from the dead. He may appear mad—his long hair is disheveled, and his magical experimenting gives him the air of a mad scientist—but he’s perfectly sane. And that’s the problem. He knows how to summon a fairy, but not how to see and hear him. A fugitive in England, Strange takes up residency in Venice, where he takes a cue from the king and seeks to induce madness into himself that he might speak with the fairy to bring his wife back. Luckily, he runs into two English citizens: Flora Greysteel, who followed Lord Byron across Europe and was “saved” by her father, a doctor who checks in on a colleague’s patient who is, to put it politely, totally …

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