Martin Scorsese

Widely regarded as one of the greatest directors of all time, the American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian Martin Scorsese was born November 17, 1942. Scorsese’s body of work addresses such themes as Italian American identity, Roman Catholic concepts of guilt and redemption, machismo, modern crime, and violence. Scorsese is hailed as one of the most significant and influential filmmakers of all time, directing landmark films such as Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), and Goodfellas (1990) – all of which he collaborated on with actor and close friend Robert De Niro. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for The Departed (2006), having been nominated a previous six times.In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation. In 1998, the American Film Institute placed three Scorsese films on their list of the greatest movies in America: Raging Bull at #24, Taxi Driver at #47 and Goodfellas at #94. For their tenth anniversary edition of the list, Raging Bull was moved to #4, Taxi Driver was moved to #52 and Goodfellas was moved to #92.

During his long and distinguished ongoing career scorsese has beenen awarded many honours and awards . in 2001 Scorsese received the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and in the same year AFI put two Scorsese films on their list of the most “heart-pounding movies” in American cinema: Taxi Driver at #22 and Raging Bull at #51. At a ceremony in Paris, France, Martin Scorsese was awarded the French Legion D’ Honeur in recognition of his contribution to cinema. is a recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award for his contributions to the cinema, and has won an Academy Award, a Palme d’Or, Grammy Award, Emmys, Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and DGA Awards.During his career he has won many awards and honours including the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1997 and 2006, at the 48th Grammy Awards, Scorsese was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video for No Direction Home.In 2007, Scorsese won the Academy Award for Best Director for The Departed, which also won Best Picture. On September 11, 2007, the Kennedy Center Honors committee, which recognizes career excellence and cultural influence, honoured Scorsese. On June 17, 2008, AFI put two of Scorsese’s films on the AFI’s 10 Top 10 list: Raging Bull at #1 for the Sports genre and Goodfellas at #2 for the Gangster genre.

Scorsese was the recipient of the 2010 Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 67th Golden Globe Awards.On September 18, 2011, at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, Scorsese won in the category Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, for his work on the series premiere of Boardwalk Empire.On January 15, 2012, at the 69th Golden Globe Awards, Scorsese won an award for Best Director on the 2011 movie Hugo. On February 12, 2012 at the 65th British Academy Film Awards, Scorsese was the recipient of the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award.
In 2012 Scorsese won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming for his work on the documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World. He has also earned praise from many film legends including Ingmar Bergman, Frank Capra, Jean-Luc Godard, Werner Herzog, Elia Kazan Akira Kurosawa,David Lean, Michael Powell, Satyajit Ray, and François Truffault.

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Peter Cook

l am a big fan of the late great English actor, satirist, writer and comedian Peter Cook who was born 17 November 1937. he is regarded as An extremely influential figure in modern British comedy & a leading light of the British satire boom of the 1960s & has been described by Stephen Fry as “the funniest man who ever drew breath”. Cook was closely associated with anti-establishment comedy which emerged in Britain and the United States in the late 1950s. Educated at Radley College and Pembroke College, Cambridge, Cook joined the Cambridge University Liberal Club & It was at Pembroke thatCook performed and wrote comedy sketches as a member of the Cambridge Footlights Club, of which he became president in 19which was60′s, & wrote for Kenneth Williams, before joining a four-man group satirical stage show, Beyond the Fringe, with Jonathan Miller, Alan Bennett and Dudley Moore, which included Cook impersonating the Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan.In 1961 Cook opened the Establishment club in central London. Cook said it was a satirical venue modelled on “those wonderful Berlin cabarets… which did so much to stop the rise of Hitler and prevent the outbreak of the Second World War”. Cook befriended and supported Australian comedian and actor Barry Humphries, who began his British solo career at the club. Cook’s chiselled looks and languid manner led Humphries to observe that whereas most people take after their father or mother, Cook seemed more like an aunt. Dudley Moore’s jazz trio also played in the basement of the club during the early 1960s.

In 1962, the BBC commissioned a pilot for a television series of satirical sketches based on the Establishment club, cacook That Was The Week That Was ‘.Around this time, Cook provided financial backing for the satirical magazine Private Eye. For a time, the magazine was produced from the premises of the Establishment club. Cook ‘s first regular television spot was on Granada Television’s Braden Beat with Bernard Braden, where he featured his most enduring character: the static, dour and monotonal E.L. Wisty.Cook’s comedy partnership with Dudley Moore led to Not Only… But Also. Using few props, they created dry and absurd television. Cook played characters such as Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling and the two men created their Pete and Dud alter egos. Other sketches included “Superthunderstingcar”, a parody of the Gerry Anderson marionette TV shows, and Cook’s pastiche of 1960s trendy artsdocumentaries – satirised in a TV segment on Greta Garbo. A compilation of six half-hour programmes, The Best of What’s Left of Not Only…But Also. Cook and Moore began to act in films together such as With The Wrong Box (1966) and Bedazzled (1967) , the underlying story of Bedazzled is a comic parody of Faust, which stars Cook as George Spigott (The Devil) who tempts Stanley Moon (Moore), a frustrated, short-order chef, with the promise of gaining his heart’s desire – the unattainable beauty and waitress at his cafe, Margaret Spencer (Eleanor Bron) – in exchange for his soul, but repeatedly tricks him. The film features cameo appearances by Barry Humphries as Envy and Raquel Welch as Lust. Moore composed the soundtrack music and co-wrote (with Cook) the songs performed in the film. In 1968, Cook and Moore did four one-hour programmes entitled Goodbye Again with John Cleese ,which were based on the Pete and Dud characters.

ln 1970, Cook took over a a satirical film called The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer . As a reult Cook became a favourite of the chat show circuit sadly his own effort at hosting one for the BBC in 1971, Where Do I Sit? didn’t work and He was replaced by Michael Parkinson, which started Parkinson’s career as a chat show host. Cook and Moore used sketches from Not Only….But Also and Goodbye Again with new material for a stage revue called Behind the Fridge. Which proved very popular and won Tony and Grammy Awards. When it finished, Moore stayed in the U.S. to pursue a film career in Hollywood. Cook returned to Britain and recorded the more risqué humour of Pete and Dud like “Derek and Clive”. One of these audio recordings was also filmed Two further Derek and Clive albums were released, the last accompanied by a film.In 1978 Cook appeared on British music series Revolver where emerging punk and new wave acts played . Cook also played multiple roles on the 1977 concept album Consequences, which was A mixture of spoken comedy and progressive rock with an environmental subtext. Cook appeared at the first three fund-raising galas staged by humourists John Cleese and Martin Lewis on behalf of Amnesty International. The benefits were dubbed The Secret Policeman’s Balls, where he performed on all three nights of the first show in April 1976, A Poke in the Eye (with a Sharp Stick), as an individual performer and as a member of the cast of Beyond The Fringe, which reunited for the first time since the 1960s. He also appeared in a Monty Python sketch, taking the place of Eric Idle. Cook was on the cast album of the show and in the film, Pleasure At Her Majesty’s. He was in the second Amnesty gala in May 1977, An Evening Without Sir Bernard Miles. It was retitled The Mermaid Frolics. Cook performed monologues and skits with Terry Jones.

In June 1979, Cook performed all four nights of The Secret Policeman’s Ball – teaming with John Cleese. Cook also performed a couple of solo pieces and a sketch with Eleanor Bron, PLUS the “End Of The World” sketch from Beyond The Fringe., he also wrote and voiced radio commercials to advertise the film in the UK. He also hosted a spoof film awards ceremony that was part of the world première of the film in London in March 1982. Following Cook’s 1987 stage reunion with Moore for the annual U.S. benefit for the homeless, Comic Relief (not related to the UK Comic Relief benefits), Cook repeated the reunion for a British audience by performing with Moore at the 1989 Amnesty benefit The Secret Policeman’s Biggest Ball. In 1980, Cook moved to Hollywood and appeared as an uptight English butler to a wealthy American woman in a short-lived U.S. television sitcom The Two of Us, In 1980, Cook starred in l Peter Cook & Co. which included memorable, comedy sketches, such as a Tales of the Unexpected parody “Tales Of The Much As We Expected”. The cast included John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson, Beryl Reid, Paula Wilcox and Terry Jones. ln 1983 Cook played the role of Richard III in the first episode of Blackadder, “The Foretelling”, which parodies Laurence Olivier’s portrayal. He narrated the short film “Diplomatix” by Norwegian comedy trio Kirkvaag, Lystad and Mjøen, which won the “Special Prize of the City of Montreux” at the Montreux Comedy Festival in 1985. In 1986 he partnered Joan Rivers on her UK talk show. He appeared as Mr Jolly in 1987 in The Comic Strip Presents’ Mr Jolly Lives Next Door.In 1988, Cook appeared as a contestant on the improvisation comedy show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? Cook was declared the winner, his prize being to read the credits in the style of a New York cab driver. Cook returned to the BBC as Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling for an appearance with Ludovic Kennedy in A Life in Pieces. The 12 interviews saw Sir Arthur recount his life based on the Twelve Days of Christmas. Unscripted interviews with Cook as Streeb-Greebling and satirist Chris Morris were recorded in late 1993 and broadcast as Why Bother? on BBC Radio 3. On 17 December 1993, Cook appeared on Clive Anderson Talks Back as four characters – biscuit tester and alien abductee Norman House, football manager and motivational speaker Alan Latchley, judge Sir James Beauchamp and rock legend Eric Daley. he also read links for Arena’s “Radio Night”. He also appeared, in the 1993 Christmas special of One Foot in the Grave (“One Foot in the Algarve”), playing a muckraking tabloid journalist.

Cook made his last TV appearance in November 1994. Cook died on 9 January 1995, aged 57, having suffered a gastrointestinal haemorrhage in the intensive-care unit of the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, North London. Days earlier he had been taken in and announced, “I feel a bit poorly”. Dudley Moore attended Cook’s memorial service in London in May 1995 and he and Martin Lewis presented a two-night memorial for Cook in Los Angeles the following November, to mark what would have been Cook’s 58th birthday.Cook is acknowledged as the one of the main influence on British comedians from amateur dramatic clubs of British universities to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and then to the radio and television.ln 1999 the minor planet 20468 Petercook, in the main asteroid belt, was named after him.Ten years after his death, Cook was ranked at number one in the Comedians’ Comedian, a poll of 300 comics, comedy writers, producers and directors. Channel 4 broadcast Not Only But Always, a TV film dramatising the relationship between Cook and Moore, with Rhys Ifans portraying Cook. At the 2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe a play, , examined the relationship from Moore’s view, Pete and Dud: Come Again. Tom Goodman-Hill played Cook.At the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Goodbye – the (after)life of Cook & Moore was presented at the Gilded Balloon. The play imagined the newly dead Moore meeting Cook in Limbo, also inhabited by other comic actors with whom they had worked, including Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Williams. In May 2009 the play was seen again in London’s West End at the Leicester Square Theatre ) with Jonathan Hansler as Cook, Adam Bampton Smith as Moore and Clive Greenwood as everyone else.A green plaque was unveiled by the Heritage Foundation at the site of the Establishment club on 15 February 2009.

Lord of the Rings

Amazon recently acquired the television rights to J.R.R Tolkien’s epic fantasy Lord of the Rings and have announced plans to make a television series based on events inMiddle Earth, with a multiple season commitment. The events featured in The television series will take place before the events featured in the 2001 feature film “The Fellowship of the Ring,” which kicked off the trilogy The Two Towers and Return of the King, all three directed by Peter Jackson. This could also include potential for a spin-off series as well. Amazon Studios will be collaborating on the series with the Tolkien Estate, Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema. Amazon also produces “The Man in the High Castle,” an alternative history drama based on the Philip K. Dick novel. A cast for the Lord of the Rings TV series has not yet been announced.

 

Bram Stoker

Best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula, the Irish novelist and short story writer Abraham “Bram” Stoker was Born 8th November 1847 in Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland. Stoker was bedridden until he started school at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. He was educated in a private school run by the Rev. William Woods. After his recovery, he grew up without further major health issues, even excelling as an athlete (he was named University Athlete) at Trinity College, Dublin, which he attended from 1864 to 1870. He graduated with honours in mathematics. He was auditor of the College Historical Society (‘the Hist’) and president of the University Philosophical Society, where his first paper was on “Sensationalism in Fiction and Society.

While a student Stoker became interested in the theatre & became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, co-owned by the author of Gothic tales Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. After giving a favourable review of Henry Irving’s Hamlet Irving invited him to dinner and the two became friends. Stoker also wrote stories, and in 1872 “The Crystal Cup” was published by the London Society, followed by “The Chain of Destiny” in four parts and “The Shamrock”. while a civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote a non-fiction book (The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland. Stoker was also interested in art, and founded the Dublin Sketching Club. In 1874 The Stokers moved to London, where he became acting manager and then business manager of Henry Irving’s Lyceum Theatre, London, a post he held for 27 years. The collaboration with Irving was important for Stoker and through him he became involved in London’s high society, where he met James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (to whom he was distantly related)

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DRACULA http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CVb2q0eNFxI ===========================================================
Working for Irving, the most famous actor of his time, and managing one of the most successful theatres in London made Stoker a notable if busy man. He was dedicated to Irving and his memoirs show he idolised him. In London Stoker also met Hall Caine, who became one of his closest friends – he dedicated Dracula to him. In the course of Irving’s tours, Stoker travelled the world, although he never visited Eastern Europe, a setting for his most famous novel, and began writing novels beginning with The Snake’s Pass in 1890 and Dracula in 1897. Stoker was also part of the literary staff of the London Daily Telegraph and wrote other fiction, including the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud (1909) and The Lair of the White Worm (1911)

Stoker also met Ármin Vámbéry who was a Hungarian writer and traveler and the story may have been inspired by Vámbéry’s dark stories set among the Carpathian mountains. He also spent several years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires, particularly That of Vlad Tepes, a.k.a Vlad III Dracula, the ruler of Targoviste, in Wallachia, Romania, whose brutal regime And predilection for impaling his enemies gave him a fearsome reputation. He may also have learnt about Hoia Baciu forest which is said to be haunted and is well known for its disturbing and inexplicable Paranormal phenomenon. Stoker also visited Whitby Abbey, Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire and the crypts of St. Michan’s Church in Dublin and also read the novella Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. All of which gave him plenty of inspiration.

Sadly Though after suffering a number of strokes, Stoker passed away on 20 April 1912 and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium where his ashes were place in a display urn . To visit his remains at Golders Green, visitors must be escorted to the room the urn is housed in, for fear of vandalism. However his Gothic novels, especially Dracula remain popular and have been adapted for film and television numerous time

Frank Carson

Best known for his appearances on television series such as The Comedians and Tiswas. Comedian and Actor Frank Carson KSG was born on 6th November 1926 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he attended St Patrick’s Primary School where as a tubby, fair-haired schoolboy of five nicknamed Snowball, he tried to make people laugh as a way of showing that he was not a nobody.After leaving school at 14 he first worked as an apprentice electrician, and later as a plasterer in the building trade, he wasn’t particularly good at either but escaped the sack because he made the other workers laugh, which made them work better. He was also once a choirboy at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic church on Donegall Street, and in the 1950′s Carson spent three years with the Parachute Regiment in the Middle East.

After being demobbed He began performing at pubs and clubs in the evenings, standing in front of the venue, handing out leaflets and selling tickets and then surprising ticket-buyers once inside by being the man who was doing the comedy routine. He even managed to find comedy in his National Service with the First Parachute Battalion, which he joined when he was 18, training on the Isle of Wight and Manchester Ringway Airport and serving in Palestine. Carson moved towards stardom after making dozens of appearances on Irish television and Soon became a popular performer before moving to England in 1966 and appearimg on the BBC Show The Good Old Days music hall show and appearing as a Stand-Up Comedian on Hughie Green’s Opportunity Knocks television which he won three times. His Belfast accent and bawdy confidence were immediately distinctive.

He also did summer seasons at Pontins and Butlins holiday camps, a TV series with the Irish group The Bachelors.He hit his stride in “The Comedians”, which consisted of 30 minutes of non-stop stand-up comedy from several comedians in each show. The program became a ratings hit in the United Kingdom and helped establish Carson’s performing career, and also gave a platform to all sorts of funny men and women such as Charlie Williams, Bernard Manning, Mike Reid and Jim Bowen. The Comedians also led to similar shows, such as The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, which were all an attempt to bring the northern English working man’s club show to television, Peter Kay also did a similar thing with Phoenix Nights. Carson was a regular on television for a number of years after The Comedians, whilst also working as a stage entertainer and appearing before the Royal Family in shows. He is known for two catchphrases in live performances: “It’s a cracker!” and “It’s the way I tell ‘em!”.

In 1975, Carson took the part of Paddy O’Brien, described as “an Irish Republican landlord and coalman”, in The Melting Pot, a sitcom written by Spike Milligan and Neil Shand, which was cancelled by the BBC after just one episode had been broadcast. When he had heart surgery in 1976 it was suggested this meant he would retire. However, he continued working and became a regular on the ATV children’s series Tiswas. He began making acting appearances on television as well as in two cinema films in the 1990s. In 1998, he was the opening act for Mary Black’s musical concert at the English Village in Dubai. In 2004, a planned appearance on the reality show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! was shelved by ITV executives.Up until quite recently Carson was still working, making live appearances, in cabaret, pantomime and the summer season throughout the UK, and On 2 September 2009, aged 82, Carson returned to the stage appearing at the North Pier Theatre midweek season run of The Comedians in Blackpool, where he had a home.

On 30 October 2009, he appeared at the Velvet Hall in Paphos, Cyprus. Carson was known for his philanthropy and spent much of his time helping the needy which included raising £130,000 for the Royal Victoria Hospital Children’s Cancer Ward in 1986. In 1987 his dedication to charity was recognised by the Roman Catholic Church when he was awarded a Papal knighthood of the Order of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II. He was a member of the entertainment charity the Grand Order of Water Rats.Carson died on 22 February 2012, aged 85, at his Blackpool home. He is outlived by his wife, Ruth, daughter Majella, and sons Tony and Aidan. Upon hearing the news, Trevor Carson, a nephew, and a football goalkeeper with Premier League side Sunderland, stated “After a lengthy and wearisome illness, my uncle, friend, and hero has passed on to join the great comedy legends of our generation.” Another nephew, Sean, is a comedy writer”.

Blue Planet II

I am currently reading and watching Blue Planet II, the newest stunning natural history documentary Narrated by David Attenborough with the accompanying book which is authored by James Honeyborne andMark Brownlow. This programme has been made possible by using cutting-edge breakthroughs in science and technology to explore new worlds, and reveal astonishing creatures and extraordinary new animal behaviors not seen before, Breakthroughs in technology such as rebreathers and deep sea submersibles have enabled us to access areas which were previously out-of-bounds and enhanced our knowledge of the oceans, and our understanding of what goes on in them has been increased accordingly.

Blue Planet II Explores many different marine environments. The first episode includes Giant Travelly’s launching themselves out of the water to catch newly fledged Sooty Terns and Dolphins and False Killer Whales hunting together and cooperating in order to catch more food. The episode “deep seas” looks at the little known region at the bottom of the ocean where there is perpetual darkness. Despite this many bizarre looking crustaceans and fish manage to live here, with many providing their own light by means of bioluminescence while Six gilled sharks and primative Hag Fish feed on the carcasses of dead whales which have floated down from the surface. Deep sea vents exude toxic fumes and look uninhabitable, but despite this they are also home to a surprisingly wide variety of bizarre crustaceans and fish which are not found anywhere else on the planet.

The episode “coral reef” looks at the extensive communities which inhabit these areas including a wide variety of colourful fish, molluscs, crustaceans and sharks. However these areas are fragile and are under increasing threat from warming seas caused by pollution and gasses which are heating up the atmosphere and seas and causing ecolgical damage including coral bleaching. The next episode “open ocean” looks at Whales, Dolphins, sharks, Sunfish and and other marine animals which spend their lives patrolling and feeding in the open ocean”

The next episode “green seas” examines the many inhabitants which live among Sargassum Seaweed including Sea Lions. The next episode is “coastal regions” which examines sheer cliffs and rock pools which are inhabited by a wide variety of crustaceans, molluscs, jellyfish, fish, and large communities of nesting birds including guillimots, Puffins and Terns, gulls whose young are preyed upon by predatory Frigate Birds and Arctic Skuas.

The final episode “Our Blue Planet” looks at the impact human activity has had on the ocean from Acidification and coral bleaching caused by warming seas, pollution, over fishing, killing sharks and littering of the planets oceans which has had a disastrous affect on some species but has allowed species like predatory Humboldt squid to benefit.

Susanna Clarke

Best known for her debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, the Hugo Award-winning English author Susanna Mary Clarke was born 1 November 1959 in Nottingham, England, the eldest daughter of a Methodist minister and his wife Due to her father’s posts, she spent her childhood in various towns across Northern England and Scotland,and enjoyed reading the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from St Hilda’s College, Oxford in 1981. For eight years, she worked in publishing at Quarto and Gordon Fraser. She also spent two years teaching English as a foreign language in Turin, Italy and Bilbao, Spain. She returned to County Durham in 1992 in a house that looked out over the North Sea and began working on her first novel, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. In 1993, she was hired by Simon & Schuster in Cambridge to edit cookbooks.

Clarke first developed the idea for Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell while she was teaching in Bilbao: “I had a kind of waking dream … about a man in 18th-century clothes in a place rather like Venice, talking to some English tourists. And I felt strongly that he had some sort of magical background – he’d been dabbling in magic, and something had gone badly wrong.” She had also recently reread J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and afterward was inspired to try writing a novel of magic and fantasy. Clarke began Jonathan Strange in 1993 and worked on it during her spare time. For the next decade, she published short stories from the Strange universe, but it was not until 2003 that Bloomsbury bought her manuscript and began work on its publication. The novel became a best-seller. Two years later, she published a collection of her short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories (2006). Both Clarke’s novel and her short stories are set in a magical England and written in a pastiche of the styles of 19th-century writers such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is set in 19th-century England during the Napoleonic Wars. It is based on the premise that magic once existed in England and has returned with two men: Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange. Centering on the relationship between these two men, the novel investigates the nature of “Englishness”and the boundary between reason and madness. It has been described as a fantasy novel, an alternative history, and an historical novel and draws on various Romantic literary traditions, such as the comedy of manners, the Gothic tale, and the Byronic hero. Clarke’s style has frequently been described as a pastiche, particularly of 19th-century British writers such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and George Meredith. The supernatural is contrasted with and highlighted by mundane details and Clarke’s tone combines arch wit with antiquarian quaintness. The text is supplemented with almost 200 footnotes, outlining the backstory and an entire fictional corpus of magical scholarship. The novel was well received by critics and reached number three on the New York Times best-seller list,remaining on the list for eleven weeks A seven-part adaptation of the book by was broadcast on BBC One in 2015.

In 2006, Clarke published a collection of eight fairy tales presented as the work of several different writers, seven of which had been previously anthologized. The volume’s focus on “female mastery of the dark arts” is reflected in the ladies of Grace Adieu’s magical abilities and the prominent role needlework plays in saving the Duke of Wellington and Mary, Queen of Scots. The title story, “The Ladies of Grace Adieu”, is set in early 19th century Gloucestershire and concerns the friendship of three young women, Cassandra Parbringer, Miss Tobias, and Mrs. Fields.

Though the events of the story do not actually appear in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, they are referenced in a footnote in Chapter 43. Clarke wrote the women and the servants, in the style of a 19th-century novel. Reviewers highlighted this tale, one calling it “the most striking story” of the collection and “a staunchly feminist take on power relations. While Strange focuses on the relationship of two men, Jonathan Strange and Gilbert Norrell Grace Adieu is a “sly, frequently comical, feminist revision” of Jonathan Strange which focuses on the power women gain through magic. Clarke currently resides in Cambridge with her partner, the science fiction novelist and reviewer Colin Greenland. As of 2004, she was working on a follow-up to Jonathan Strange which begins a few years after Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell ends and which will centre around characters who, as Clarke says, are “a bit lower down the social scale”. However ill health has slowed progress on the novel.