Eruditorum Press

Temporarily embarrassed proletarians

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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later.Support Elizabeth on Patreon.

10 Comments

  1. homunculette
    June 20, 2015 @ 6:57 pm

    This is an excellent review (although it's Marsan, not Marsell).

    I agree that Stephen is given (thus far) a disappointing lack of characterization, especially considering how well he's characterized in the books, but at the same time it's hard to blame Harness for leaving him a cipher when he's got so many balls in the air. It is unfortunate, however, that the character he characterizes least is the sole character of color. That said (and mild spoiler alert – I've been watching with the British airings), Stephen has the best moment in the whole series thus far in the next episode – it's absolutely breathtaking.

    Marc Warren's Gentleman is a fascinating character, but I've been having a bit of difficulty unpacking him, which I'm sure you'll get around to more in the next episode – in a lot of ways, he's aware of the hierarchical structure of Victorian British society and its uniquely oppressive nature, but he's perfectly happy bending it to his own whims as opposed to actually helping anybody.

    This series has me even more excited for Harness' Doctor Who episodes in series 9 than I already was after Kill the Moon.

    I heard someone theorize that this was Harness' Jekyll and that he would take over post-Moffat, which I would be 100% into, but unfortunately he doesn't appear to have a producer credit on this and also lives in Sweden.

    Reply

  2. David Anderson
    June 20, 2015 @ 9:33 pm

    The reason an order vs chaos dichotomy works particularly well here, I think, is that in this setting it can function as a neo-classicism vs romanticism dichotomy, which makes it more concrete.

    Reply

  3. Aylwin
    June 20, 2015 @ 10:42 pm

    he's aware of the hierarchical structure of Victorian British society and its uniquely oppressive nature, but he's perfectly happy bending it to his own whims as opposed to actually helping anybody

    Why should he help anybody, though, or have a problem with the hierarchies of Georgian society? After all, he is a gentleman (as the Devil is a gentleman). He's thoroughly callous and I've seen no indication yet (I'm watching British TV and haven't read the book) that he's motivated by anything other than his own entertainment and sense of aesthetics. And certainly his intervention is experienced as anything but liberation by those his interest lights on. All of which is in line with what one would traditionally expect of a fairy.

    I'm still a bit uncertain at this point how far he really does understand human society, as opposed to psychology. There's an apparent naivety to certain of his designs where he seems to be guided by what we might consider fairy-tale logic rather than what could be expected to work in the human world.

    Speaking of stories bumping magic into the mundane, I'm getting kind of a Sansa/Joffrey vibe from Stephen and the Gentleman – the gilded cage and the combination of adaptable submissiveness with a readiness to discreetly cheek the boss when the opportunity arises.

    and also lives in Sweden

    Hmmm. Is extradition on creative grounds a thing? The Swedes have quite enough good telly as it is.

    Reply

    • Aberrant Eyes
      December 12, 2015 @ 10:57 pm

      After all, he is a gentleman (as the Devil is a gentleman).

      Are you deliberately quoting Chesterton’s “The Aristocrat”? Because, on recently getting around to watching this episode off the Loomis household DVR, the revels at Lost-hope reminded me ineluctably of some lines from near the end of that poem:

      “There are things you need not know of, though you live and die in vain,
      There are souls more sick of pleasure than you are sick of pain;
      […]
      Where the splendour of the daylight grows drearier than the dark,
      And life droops like a vulture that once was such a lark…”

      Reply

  4. Dan
    June 21, 2015 @ 3:36 am

    This reminds me of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence.

    Reply

  5. Doctor Memory
    June 21, 2015 @ 4:53 am

    But as the title suggests, “How is Lady Pole?” is not exclusively or even primarily about its central dynamic

    cackle

    Seriously you are going to adore the book when you finish it. And it sounds like I should really get on the stick and start watching the series.

    Reply

  6. Anton B
    June 21, 2015 @ 1:37 pm

    I took everybody's advice here and persevered with the series. Wow am I glad I did! I'm up to episode five now and it is just extraordinary. I've also gone back to the book and have started enjoying that more too. Susanna Clarke really didn't do herself any favours with those first few chapters.

    Reply

  7. Aylwin
    June 21, 2015 @ 2:08 pm

    This reminds me of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence.

    ?

    Reply

  8. Dan
    June 22, 2015 @ 4:10 am

    You are asking why? Have you read it?

    Reply

  9. Daru
    June 23, 2015 @ 10:16 pm

    "The old, animist English magic of faeries is being linked unmistakably with the subaltern, so that the old order/chaos dualism of Norrell and Strange becomes a fight over an entirely different sort of psychic territory than what we might expect, and certainly a different one than where either of the two protagonists expect."

    Yes I love that Susanna's story shows us that the big grandstanding struggles that Norrell and Strange are engaged in entirely blind them from the territory that characters such as the women and the servants are going through and the very real struggles present there in society.

    Loving the show so much it makes me want to read the book again.

    Reply

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