Susanna Clarke uses the tarot in her novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell much as she uses history: twisting it to open up spaces for magic and playfulness. She offers modifications on the traditional Tarot de Marseille that accurately predict the narrative events, yet deftly obscures the outcomes by leading the readers (and the characters) to jump to the wrong conclusions. Laity’s analysis of the Tarot readings performed by Childermas and Vinculus shows that Strange and Norrell enjoy mastery in magic, only to find that that mastery brings great suffering to others and also isolates them from the world as they once knew it.

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