The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and it is hundreds of years since practical magic faded in the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history suddenly discover that one practicing magician still remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey. Challenged to demonstrate his powers, Norrell causes the statues of York Cathedral to speak and sing, and sends a thrill through the country. The magician proceeds to London, trailed by excited rumors, where he raises a beautiful young woman from the dead and finally enters the war, summoning an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French.
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