The following excerpt was taken from Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke. This is a paperback edition with close to thousand pages. This book looks like it might provide many extracts of text and hours of enjoyable reading.
Autumn 1806-January 1807
“Mr. Segundus took down ‘The Instructions’ of Jacques Belasis and read the following passage. The passage he read had to do with one of England’s greatest magicians, Martin Pale. The reading…’In Gregory Absalon’s ‘The Tree of Learning’, there is a famous passage which relates how, while journeying through Taerie, the last if the great Aureate magicians, Martin Pale paid a visit to a fairy-prince. Like most of his race the fairy had a great multitude of names, honorifics, titles, and pseudonyms, but usually he was known as Cold Henry. Cold Henry made a long and deferential speech to his guest. The speech was full of metaphors and obscure allusions, but what Cold Henry seemed to be saying was that fairies were naturally wicked creatures who did not always know when they were doing wrong. To this Martin Pale, briefly and somewhat enigmatically, replied that ‘not all Englishmen have the same size feet’. “
Chapter 1: The library at Hurtfew, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke.