That was his first introduction to the tertiary colours, the colours on the far side of blackness, the colours that you get if you split blackness with an eight-sided prism. They are also almost impossible to describe in a non-magical environment, but if someone were to try they’d probably start by telling you to smoke […]

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

County gentleman who read in their newspapers the speeches of this or that Minister would mutter to themselves that he was certainly a clever fellow. But the county gentlemen were not made comfortable by this thought. The country gentlemen had a strong suspicion that cleverness was somehow unBritish. That sort of restless, unpredictable brilliance belonged […]

The serpent and the goddess

Women, therefore, had no input into a theology that gave so much importance to the male seed, and that led to a situation where masturbation or oral sex, performed between two consenting couples, was more serious than rape; rape at least preserved” the natural relationship between the sexes, whereas other activities “wasted” the seed altogether. […]