“But as to how the food is conveyed to her,” exclaimed Miss Greysteel, “no one knows for certain. Signor Tosetti believes that her cats carry it up to her.”
“Such nonsense!” declared Dr Greysteel. “Whoever heard of cats doing anything useful!”
“Except for staring at one in a supercilious manner,” said Strange. “That has a sort of moral usefulness, I suppose, in making one feel uncomfortable and encouraging sober reflection upon one’s imperfections.”
From the wonderful novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Thanks so much to Nikki for recommending it to me. It’s historical fiction about an alternate England in the early 1800’s. In this world, it is generally accepted that magic was real and used to work, but for some reason no longer does. Until, quite without warning, it begins to return.
If fantasy isn’t your thing, fear not. For me, anyway, the real pleasure in the novel is the dry humor and use of language. The book DOES have footnotes, in case that’s a turnoff, but don’t let that stop you from reading this great book.