TV Club: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: “The World Shall Be Punished”

The final chapter of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, BBC’s adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s sprawling novel, demonstrates the strength of both the story and the surprisingly successful reimagining of that story for the screen. There’s no doubt that this book does not lend itself to easy adaptation; it meanders (charmingly so) across hundreds of pages, several years, in and out of a fairy world, and dips into footnotes scattered across the pages, presented like side notes but imbuing the story with details and nuance that make the book remarkable. The final episode opens with Sir Walter Pole neatly condensing a lot of plot into a tidy expositional voice-over, describing the broken mirrors and return of magic across England, Strange’s descent into madness, and his plan to return to England, bringing his Black Tower with him.

“It is not treason, exactly, what Mr. Strange has done,” says …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *