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Literature / The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories

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The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories is an anthology of short stories by Susanna Clarke connected to (sometimes explicitly) the universe of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. The book was published in 2006, but all the stories had already been published elsewhere (the exception being the last one, "John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner").
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Contents:

  • Introduction by Professor James Sutherland, Director of Sidhe Studies, University of Aberdeen
  • "The Ladies of Grace Adieu"
  • "On Lickerish Hill"
  • "Mrs. Mabb"
  • "The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse"
  • "Mr. Simonelli or The Fairy Widower"
  • "Tom Brightwind or How the Fairy Bridge Was Built at Thoresby"
  • "Antickes and Frets"
  • "John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner"

Contains examples of:

  • The Beautiful Elite: Fairies. However, in "On Lickerish Hill" we see one that is small, ugly and hairy.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The titular ladies of Grace Adieu. Cassandra, Mrs. Fields, and Miss Tobias are all perfectly kind and genteel ladies...and if you threaten the children Miss Tobias is governess to, they'll turn themselves into owls and you into mice. And eat you.
  • Break the Haughty: The subject of several tales, including "Mrs. Mabb", "The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse", "Antickes and Frets", and "John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner". In the in-universe introduction, the author notes that stories in which Uskglass (the Raven King) gets taken down a peg or two by his humbler subjects are common, continuing a theme from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell wherein the Raven King's subjects can tend towards anti-authoritarianism and, while they love him deeply, don't always respect him.
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  • Crossover: "The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse" is a crossover between the Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell 'verse and that of Neil Gaiman's Stardust.
  • The Fair Folk: A recurring motif in the whole thing.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Mr. Simonelli turns out to be half-human, half-Fairy. Professor Sutherland (who is presumably Scottish) describes him in the introduction as "a monstrously irritating writer; at every turn he displays the conceit and arrogance of his race. (And I am talking here of the English and not of anyone else.)"
  • In the Style of...: True of several of the stories:
    • "John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner" is done in the style of (and purports to be) a humorous Medieval tale.
    • "Tom Brightwind" is written to be (and purports to be) a story written for Blackwood's Magazine.
    • "On Lickerish Hill" is written in a phonetic English that imitates the style of writers like Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn, and John Aubery.
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  • This Is My Name on Foreign: Mr. Simonelli's name, Giorgio Alessandro Simonelli, derives form his grandfather, George Alexander Simon, taking his own name and translating each part into Italian equivalents, based on his daughter's belief that her seducer (or possibly rapist) was an Italian.
  • Twice-Told Tale: Nearly all of the stories are retellings of folktales.

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