Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, the BBC miniseries

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Programme Name: Strange & Norrell - TX: n/a - Episode: Ep1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Mr Norrell (EDDIE MARSAN), The Gentleman (MARC WARREN) - (C) JSMN Ltd - Photographer: Matt Squire
Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan) and The Gentleman (Marc Warren) in a scene from Episode One of "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell." (Matt Squire/JSMN Ltd.)

I very much enjoyed Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell when it came out several years ago, so I was eager to check out the BBC's seven-episode miniseries based on the book. It was excellent—my wife, my 11-year-old and I all gulped it down enthusiastically (though my wife and my 11-year-old hadn't read the book). You can watch it on Amazon Instant Video (and, no, I get no kickbacks from Mr. Bezos for saying that), as my family did, or order it on DVD or Blu-ray.

The story is fantasy set in early 1800s England, so you might especially enjoy it if you like fantasy set in what is otherwise the real world (which I do), and if you like historical fiction set in that time. But, as always, the trick is in the execution much more than in the setting or the overall genre, and this is very well executed. I highly recommended it.