Fairy woman in a dress like a winter sunset

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This knowledgeable lady is the person who dances with Jonathan Strange on his catastrophic visit to Lost-hope. As he loiters about, admiring the brugh's romantic atmosphere and mentally congratulating himself on being the first magician to penetrate such a place in centuries, he becomes aware that a lady in a beautiful dress* is regarding him steadily. At that moment, music strikes up - the lady seems unengaged - and on impulse, he boldly asks for the pleasure of a dance. Giving him her hand she allows him to lead her to the floor but, unlike most human ladies left at the side of a dance floor without partners, she seems curiously ungratified by his request. As they dance however they converse, and although his partner seems possessed by a spirit of contradiction which puzzles our magician sadly, she gives him several potentially useful hints. She tells him she knows not only of him, and of Mr Norrell, and of their role in the Revival of English Magic but also that none of this is entirely their free choice - it is a mere part of a predestined chain of events predicted long ago in the Prophecy of John Uskglass. She tells him moreover that his part is not yet accomplished. She forewarns him that this brugh he so complacently admires is a dangerous place, particularly so for magicians who overestimate their own powers. Lastly, she as good as tells him to his face that he is about to be imprisoned in the Pillar of Darkness for a hundred years.

The lady also lets fall incidental tidbits, such as that she has been a 'visitor' at this brugh for a period so long she wearily describes it as 'four thousand years' (This we are told is the conventional expression fairies use to mean a very, very long time indeed.) Exactly what she means by 'visitor' is also left unexplained. Is she free to come and go, or is she too another part of the Gentleman's 'collection', constrained to attend on him at Lost-hope not for years merely but centuries, perhaps even millennia?

Altogether it must be admitted this very interesting lady has a much clearer grasp of future developments than Strange himself - or even her host, the gentleman with the thistle-down hair. How it is she knows all this, and why it is that, like Cassandra, she seems unable to communicate it to any useful effect to others is a mystery we cannot solve...unless of course she is Cassandra[55].

*Her dress we are told is 'the colour of a winter sunset'. We do not know whether this is her unvarying choice of appearance. If it is not, she may possibly be the same person as the other unnamed but communicative fairy-woman who first greets Stephen Black on his arrival at Lost-hope. On that occasion the lady is wearing a gown the colour of storms, shadows and rain, with a necklace of broken promises and regrets. She too however seems extremely knowledgeable, at one point even answering Stephen's question before he has had leisure to speak it aloud[16].