Buy Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell DVD

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
is finally coming to screens in a BBC adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s award-winning novel.

As fans of the book whip themselves into a frenzy ahead of the show’s release, we ask just who are the vastly different men from whom the show takes its title -- and what makes their tale so unmissable?

First things first…

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was British writer Susanna Clarke’s debut novel, released in 2004 and immediately a hot ticket amongst movie producers and TV execs. Set in an alternative version of England, around the time of the Napoleonic War, it was described as a fantasy, an alternative history and even an historical novel; standing out, not only for its intrigue and cast of wonderful characters, but also for the breathtaking depth of the novel’s world building.

The text deliberately mimics 19th century writing styles and the author supplements happenings with more than 200 footnotes, to fill out the backstory and an entire fictional history of magic. At its heart, however it remains the story of two men.

Mr Norrell

Reclusive northerner Gilbert Norrell shocks the Learned Society of York Magicians, and the rest of York by revealing himself to be a practical magician, despite the fact that magic was believed to have died out many years ago.

How does he do it? By making the York Cathedral statues come to live, of course.

It’s a neat trick and one that sees Norrell enlisted by his government to combat the French. His adventure takes him to London where he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ships to terrorise our Gallic enemies.

Still, Norrell is not a magician in the mould of David Copperfield or Siegfried & Roy. He’s not a showman; quite the opposite. He’s cautious, fussy and generally laborious to be around. Still, he’s played with vim and vigour by Eddie Marsan.

Jonathan Strange

If Norrell is no showman, Jonathan Strange makes up for that with aplomb. Played by the Olivier award winning Bertie Carvel, Strange is young, good-looking and daring to a fault. He’s the antithesis of Norrell and his emergence sets in motion a dangerous battle between the two great men.

After hunting Norrell down in London, Strange becomes his pupil, although the two have great different opinions on magic, its origins and uses.

With Strange much easier to deal with than the prickly Mr Norrell, Strange quickly usurps his teacher in helping the British win the war. Meanwhile, Strange’s contrasting views on magic create conflict that will lead to the pair parting ways; and plenty of deadly consequences besides.

and finally…

This highly anticipated new drama also stars Alice Englert, Marc Warren, Samuel West, Charlotte Riley and Paul Kaye, the comedian who achieved notoriety in the 90's portraying the actor baiting interviewer Dennis Pennis.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Before it was optioned by the BBC, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was set to get the big screen treatment as well. Now, the story’s ample plot will play out over 7 hour-long episodes. That’s great news for anybody who is a fan of Clarke’s novel, or extraordinary TV.

Pre-order Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell on Blu-Ray or DVD right now from Acorn and you will receive your copy ahead of its release in Summer 2015. Now that’s magic.

Buy Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell DVD