This is my second post in the ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr.Norrell’ readalong.
I have some bad news. I couldn’t read for most of the week because of a family emergency. I thought I will be able to catch up during the latter part of the week, but, unfortunately, it was not possible. I thought I will read atleast half of the second volume of the book and post on that, but I couldn’t even do that. I could read just fifty pages in the second volume. I apologize to fellow readalong participants for not being able to finish reading volume 2 and letting you down. I promise that I will catch up with you during the coming week.
My favourite parts of the second volume till now were the re-appearance of Mr.Segundus and Mr.Honeyfoot, the magic that Jonathan Strange did – the subtle one where he interchanges a book with its image in the mirror, so that the image is outside while the book is inside the mirror and the story told in the long footnote on the Master of Nottingham’s daughter. I also liked the references to Mr.Lewis (Matthew Gregory Lewis who wrote ‘The Monk’) and Mrs.Radcliffe (Ann Radcliffe who wrote ‘The Mysteries of Udolpho’). I am looking forward to reading more.
Two of my favourite passages from volume 2 till now are these :
A great horse-chestnut leant over the road and made a pool of black shadow, and when the two riders reached the shadow it swallowed them up so that nothing remained of them except their voices.
If we measure a magician’s success by how much magic he does, then Absalom was no magician at all, for his spells hardly ever took effect. However, if instead we examine the amount of money a magician makes and allow that to be our yardstick, then Absalom was certainly one of the greatest English magicians who ever lived, for he was born in poverty and died a very rich man.
Here are the links to the thoughts of other participants of the readalong on volume 2.