I just finished reading Susanna Clarke’s short-story collection Ladies of Grace Adieu. I really was most impressed by these stories. A couple of them featured characters from her bestselling novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, but I think I probably preferred the stories that didn’t. For me I think the stand-out tale was “Mr Simonelli or the Fairy Widower”. This piece really brought out Clarke’s vision of faery as a sinister and evil place, but with a wonderful tone of humour easing the reader along.
I would love to be able to replicate what Clarke does in my own fiction – which is sort of similar in that it takes a historical setting as it’s starting point and then brings in fantasy elements from the literature of the period.