History as Speculative Fiction: Some thoughts on reading "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" and "From Hell" While Under the Influence of Robitussin

Having come down with a nasty cold the last few days, I did what I always do when I feel like total shit, and tucked into the biggest, thickest, most difficult books that I could reach without having to get out of my chair.  In this case they were Susanna Clarke's magnificent Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and Alan Moore's almost appallingly excellent From Hell.  

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