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The Ladies of Grace Adieu and other stories…

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and other stories (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Susanna Clarke

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3,170981,765 (3.88)185
Title:The Ladies of Grace Adieu and other stories
Authors:Susanna Clarke
Info:Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2007), Edition: Export ed, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library, To read, Bookmooch

Work details

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke (2006)

  1. 132
    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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Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
The Ladies of Grace Adieu and other stories - Susanna Clarke
Audio version
3 stars

Two of my favorite readers, Simon Vance and Davina Porter, perform this collection of short stories. There are nine stories set in the magical world of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Like most collections, some of the stories are wonderful and others don’t quite hit the mark. Of the nine stories, the title selection, The Ladies of Grace Adieu was my favorite. Throughout her massive novel, Susanna Clarke touches the edges of female dissatisfaction in the 19th century world of Jonathan Strange. The Ladies of Grace Adieu take active magical steps to control their own destinies in defiance of male dominance. They reminded me of John Updike’s Witches of Eastwick. It was very satisfying to see the “little women” triumph. Several of the other stories deal with clever women overcoming evil male supremacy. On Lickerish Hill is a retelling of Rumplestiltskin and in Mrs. Mabb a clever mortal girl is able to extricate her fiancé from the clutches of an evil fairy. The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse not in Jonathan Strange’s universe, but on the other side of Neil Gaiman’s Wall.
Overall, the stories were entertaining. I found that they were best read, or listened to, one at a time. The details tended to run together without a sufficient break between each one.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |

I really enjoyed reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell as it was once of the books that surprised me in 2012. So, it was clear I wanted to read this book as well. I had actually been hoping on a full length sequel that could bring back the fantastic atmosphere from the book, but as that is not possible for now, I'm at least very happy with this set of lovely short stories, some of which are set in the same time as JS&MrN, but all are written is that same style that is so wonderful and impressive. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
Despite the fact that the novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, published in 2005, had more than 1,000 pages, it was and enchanting and compelling read, from which I derived a great deal of pleasure. Unfortunately, the stories in The Ladies of Grace Adieu, and other stories are not of the same quality.

Some of the stories in The Ladies of Grace Adieu, and other stories have the same characters as in the novel, while all stories are set in the magical wonderland of elves and magicians. The stories are either thematically linked to the novel or were written in the same style, either predating, written concurrently or shortly after the novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell was published. Some stories consist of fragments which were lifted out of the novel.

Perhaps what makes the novel so great is the huge scope and scale of the story, while the short stories as simply too short to develop a real sense.

Quite disappointing. ( )
  edwinbcn | Apr 19, 2016 |
A wonderful collection of short stories, each more charming than the last. Told in the old-fashioned styles of gone-by ages, with lots of dry humor and wit. Clarke can tell more story and characterization in a few of the details she lets casually drop than most authors can in an entire novel. And her magic! Fantastic but also so creepy, and it seems that it always lies just beyond one's understanding. I adored these. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Short stories continuing the Jonathange Strange story. ( )
  Erika.D | Jan 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (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 (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susanna Clarkeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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"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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