The Life of Jonathan Strange

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The Life of Jonathan Strange was written by his friend John Segundus and published in 1820 by John Murray. The book tells the story of the life of Jonathan Strange and his role in the Revival of English Magic. It also has a few amusing anecdotes about him, such as the time he tore up his copy of Francis Sutton-Grove's Prescriptions and Descriptions and fed it to a tinker's donkey. As well as mere biographical details however it contains interesting reflections on the development of his character, such as the observation that early acquaintance with his female Erquistoune cousins gave him a marked fondness for the company of clever women [14], and that intimacy with Lord Wellington produced a tendency to prefer the most prompt rather than most scrupulous solution to any problem[32]. The book also reflected Strange's good opinion of Lord Portishead [12] and for the first time illuminated the significant part Strange played in the Battle of Waterloo[40]. The publication of this book also furnished an opportunity to lay before the public the letters Strange sent to Henry Woodhope from Venice, in their original form: till then they had been seen only in the altered state Henry Lascelles chose to give them[57].