Winner of the 2005 Hugo Award and longlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke is a lengthy and complex alternate history of England, set in the 19th century during the Napoleonic Wars. With extensive footnoting and a lengthy backstory of a fictional history of magic in England, the novel is undoubtedly a titanic work, one that famed fantasy author Neil Gaiman called “unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last 70 years.”
Because of this loftiness, Peter Harness, who has now adapted Clarke’s novel for television, had a difficult task when deciding to take the story on. Starring Eddie Marsan (Norrell) and Bertie Carvel (Strange), the television version of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell will see its American premiere on BBC America this summer. The show will run as a seven-part miniseries.