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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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3,051941,858 (3.87)179
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

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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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» See also 179 mentions

English (93)  Hungarian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Firstly, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Short Stories was written while Susanna Clarke was still working on Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell which I just found out took her 10 years to complete...so I guess I won't hold my breath on her next novel. Secondly, this was a great short story compilation, ya'll. This was especially great if you are thinking of reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell but you're not sure if you want to commit yourself to such an epic length book. This will definitely give you a taste of her narrative style as well as the world that she has created (Faerie! Also other places!). Honestly, I can't say enough good things about this author. I am super excited to see what else she comes up with but as I said a few sentences ago she does like to take her time (and she's also been ill so don't be too hard on her). Go check this book out! ( )
  AliceaP | Sep 4, 2015 |
A collection of short stories set in the same universe as Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Like that novel, the stories are presented as history rather than fiction, including notes by the professor who edited the collection, which adds to the realism. I don't think you need to have read the novel to enjoy this - in fact, it had been so many years since I read it that I'd basically forgotten it anyway. It's hard to pick a favorite, but I quite enjoyed Mrs. Mabb, the tale of a woman whose fiancee is kidnapped by a faerie. A nice little bit of lore. ( )
  melydia | Apr 18, 2015 |
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 | Jan 4, 2015 |
Bizarre, enchanting short stories.
  BooksCatsEtc | Jan 3, 2015 |
Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was one of the most roundly acclaimed fantasy novels written in the past few decades, winning the Hugo Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and deservedly so. It’s particularly amazing given that it was Clarke’s debut, and twelve years later it remains her only novel. I’ve often thought it must be intimidating to try something once and have it meet with overwhelming success, which is perhaps why her second book, The Ladies of Grace Adieu, is a collection of short stories which run more or less along the same lines as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

It’s solid and enjoyable in the same way that the great novel is, although, as with any collection of short stories, they’re never quite as good as a novel. This is further emphasised because half the fun of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was the sheer vastness of it, the voluminous prose, the epic sense; the style doesn’t work quite so well in the format of a short story. It’s telling that my two favourite stories in this collection (“Mr Simonelli or the Fairy Widower” and “Tom Brightwind or How the Bridge was Built at Thoresby”) are also the longest.

But in any case, I enjoyed the book and can easily recommend it to anybody who liked Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. On the other hand, though, I can also see how somebody apprehensive about Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’s size might try this as a sample for Clarke’s writing style and her magical, alternate history England. That would be a mistake – it’s just not quite the same. ( )
  edgeworth | Dec 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (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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