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The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories…

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories

by Susanna Clarke

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4911062,278 (3.86)198
  1. 142
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (billiecat, celtic)
  2. 80
    Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (Larkken)
    Larkken: The short stories contained in each anthology have a similar feel, and both, to some degree, play with traditional fairy tale themes. Clarke's novel benefits from reading her debut novel, as this collection is placed in the same world.
  3. 80
    The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany (billiecat)
  4. 40
    Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland by W. B. Yeats (billiecat)
  5. 30
    Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien (paradoxosalpha)
  6. 20
    Lud-in-the-mist by Hope Mirrlees (Jannes)
    Jannes: A wonderful tale about elves, humans and the delicate balance between them, written in the same florid and fariy-tale-esque vein that both Dunsany and Clarke uses so effectively.
  7. 20
    Kingdoms of Elfin by Sylvia Townsend Warner (Michael.Rimmer)
  8. 11
    Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link (jujuvail)
  9. 14
    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J. K. Rowling (norabelle414)

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» See also 198 mentions

English (104)  Hungarian (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (107)
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
The title story is excellent, although it took me a couple of reads to understand what actually happened. The rest of the stories are fine, but not spectacular. Most are based off of pre-existing fairytales, such as Rumpelstiltskin, which I found unoriginal. I was disappointed that the one story about the Raven King was a fairly derivative story that the book itself said was likely fanciful rubbish. So much is hinted about the Raven King in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, and I was hoping to gain more insight into this mysterious character. No luck, as it turns out. ( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
Hard to rate since I only gave [b:Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell|14201|Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell|Susanna Clarke|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1357027589s/14201.jpg|3921305] 3 stars. Maybe my rating there should have been 3.5 stars instead. So that might make this collection of short stories 2.5 stars?

The title story was weak, and Clarke just didn't pull off the Regency-style writing in that piece like she did in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. The style was too affected. After the first couple, the stories do get better, so there are some good ones in here. I'd only liked about half of them, though. ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
Short stories by the author of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. The first story, The Ladies of Grace Adieu references those gentlemen and Mr Strange makes an appearance. The story is strongly feminine and Mr Strange does not have a favorable appearance. The stories feature magic and faeries as well as alternate history. My favorite in the collection are Tom Brightwind or How the Fairy Bridge Was Built at Thoresby and John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner. I also liked Mrs Mabb. ( )
  Kristelh | Dec 6, 2017 |
Despite the length of [b:Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell|14201|Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell|Susanna Clarke|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1357027589s/14201.jpg|3921305], when I finished reading it this summer I wasn't done with the book by any means. I wanted to keep reading it, and so searched high and low for The Ladies of Grace Adieu, knowing it featured the same world and even some of the same characters. As keen as I was to read it, I was also terrified. I worried it would be a bad collection of short stories that would spoil all of JS&MN for me. Sometimes writers hold onto characters or ideas longer than they should and the effect as bad. Oftentimes we readers crave more of a story or a character but are actually fortunate that the writer deprives us of more, when more could spoil it. Think of all the TV series that go on for longer than they should and taint the whole thing, becoming the opposite of all the things you loved about it in the first place. I was afraid that would be the case with this book.

As you can tell by the rating, it wasn't. It makes sense that it wasn't. Clarke wrote JS&MN in many different parts, an episode here and an episode there which she stitched together after to form the novel. Some of the episodes became footnotes, while others couldn't find a place in the novel and ended up here.

I loved that we finally had more female characters leading the stories, as they were lacking in JS&MN and Clarke seemed very aware of that. I love her deep understanding of Regency and Victorian writing styles (and earlier—"On Lickerish Hill" is a perfect send-up of certain 17th century authors), and all the echoes of Austen in "Mr Simonelli" were hysterical to me. I need more Susanna Clarke in my life. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
Susannah Clarke's epic Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell was a favorite in 2004, when I eagerly awaited more. Finally, I have my wish with this charming collection . Not all of the stories are set in the same universe as Jonathan Strange, but the authorial tone I enjoyed so much is back, as are a sprinkling of those delicious footnotes. Clarke has the amazing ability to make a story that you're reading for the first time seem like something you've always known, as if you had it told to you when you were very small and forgot all about it until now. ( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
In the end, Ladies of Grace weaves a similar magic as Jonathan Strange, but perhaps the book is not magical enough.
added by Shortride | editBookmarks Magazine (Jan 1, 2007)
the stories in The Ladies of Grace Adieu are consistently subtle and enchanting, and as charismatic as any reader could wish, but, while the collection has the panache of [Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell], it lacks its glorious self-possession. The stories feel a little adrift, a little raw, occasionally too neat; they're not the natural heirs to the magnum opus. But then, how could they be, and why should they be? A short fiction collection is a different beast to a novel, and is bound to work on its readers in entirely different ways.

They are uniformly clever and meticulously composed, knowledgeable of folk traditions while giving them a modern spin.
Whether it takes 10 months or 10 years to produce her next full-length work, Susanna Clarke is a better writer than this showcase would have you believe. Devotees and completist fans of Strange and Norrell will want to get their hands on this book, but the rest will probably want to wait.
"Mr. Simonelli or the Fairy Widower" is the most authentically creepy story here. A tale of a fairy who kidnaps young women and consigns them to the direst conditions imaginable, it wanders into Stephen King territory, though without the overt gore. "John Uskglass and the Cambrian Charcoal Burner" is a perfectly constructed fable with a witty, judicious outcome.

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susanna Clarkeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vess, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Faerie is never as far away as you think. Sometimes you find you have crossed an invisible line and must cope, as best you can, with petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time embroidering terrible fates, or with endless paths in deep dark woods and houses that never appear the same way twice.

The heroines and heroes bedevilled by such problems in these fairy tales include a conceited Regency clergyman, an eighteenth-century Jewish doctor and Mary Queen of Scots, as well as two characters from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: Strange himself and the Raven King.
For my parents, Janet and Stuart Clarke
First words
Introduction by Professor James Sutherland, Director of Sidhe Studies, University of Aberdeen:
I have approached this collection with two very modest aims in mind. The first is to throw some sort of light on the development of magic in the British Isles at different periods; the second is to introduce the reader to some of the ways in which Faerie can impinge upon our own quotidian world, in other words to create a sort of primer to Faerie and fairies.
Above all remember this: that magic belongs as much to the heart as to the head and everything which is done, should be done from love or joy or righteous anger.
Magic, madam, is like wine and, if you are not used to it, it will make you drunk.
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An anthology
of faery-themed short stories –
Charles Vess illustrates.

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"Susanna Clarke returns with an enchanting collection brimming with all the ingredients' of good fairy tales: petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time in embroidering terrible fates, endless paths in deep, dark woods, and houses that never appear the same way twice. The heroines and heroes who must grapple with these problems include the Duke of Wellington, a conceited Regency clergyman, an eighteenth-century Jewish doctor, and Mary, Queen of Scots, as well as Jonathan Strange and the Raven King."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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