M'sieur Minervois

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M'sieur Minervois was a most gifted artist, residing in Spitalfields. Along with his assistant M'sieur Forcalquier he made the engravings for Jonathan Strange's book The History and Practice of English Magic. His drawings, which attempted to depict the King's Roads as described to him by Strange - for though Strange had seen them with his own eyes, M. Minervois had not - were of a curious nature. They shewed mainly dark tunnels, great bridges, and mazes of roads. The engravings were presumably lost when Gilbert Norrell caused the book to disappear.

M. Minervois is described as being of a slight, almost feminine appearance, with long hair and very speaking brown eyes. Messieurs Minervois and Forcalquier are both Frenchmen, emigrés fleeing oppression under Napoleon. Their simple neighbours in Spitalfields alas are not able to distinguish between those Frenchmen seeking succour from the depredations of the Corsican Tyrant, and those serving under him. They therefore frequently attack the two, who naturally form the habit of not going out at all if it may be avoided. At the time we meet them they have come to rely upon a little slatternly girl for all their housekeeping[48].