The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock
Imogen Hermes Gowar
Out of stock
A GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, DAILY TELEGRAPH AND EVENING STANDARD BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION.
‘A cracking historical novel’ The Times
‘Pure storytelling pleasure’ Metro
One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.
As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost.
Where will their ambitions lead? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?
In this spell-binding story of curiosity and obsession, Imogen Hermes Gowar has created an unforgettable jewel of a novel, filled to the brim with intelligence, heart and wit.
"A story of obsession and curiosity... All the better for its rich detail, thanks to Gowar's impeccable research." * Stylist * "The richness and rhythm of the writing is irresistible." -- Emma Healey "A wonderful read" -- Nina Stibbe "Beautifully written...As seductive as any siren's song, this remarkable, glittering Georgian tale has a heart of purest gold." -- Essie Fox "Beautifully written... By turns bawdy, witty and moving this is a glorious romp through Georgian London, in "the age of unlikely ascents". With a truly gorgeous package a la The Essex Serpent, it deserves to be huge" -- Alice O'Keeffe * Bookseller * "Good god, it is a wonderful book" -- Louise O'Neill "Absolutely delightful... I read it greedily, savouring the characters' adventures and their wit, resilience and humanity as they contend with the glittering, filthy, dangerous city that was Georgian London. The novel is a well-researched, charming, immensely entertaining read" -- Maria McCann "Beautiful written, sinuous, enchanting, brilliantly researched, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock goes deep into the eighteenth century - its grand front rooms, the secret places, the streets and the ocean that changed everything about Britain and it lays bare the hearts of a cast of unforgettable characters" -- Kate Williams, author of The Edge of the Fall "Exquisitely written, flawlessly imagined, The Mermaid & Mrs Hancock's siren song - of courtesans and merchants, shipwrecks and wonders, love and grief, ambition and passion - will echo like the ocean in a seashell long after the last page is turned." -- Katy Darby, author of The Whores' Asylum
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