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The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock: the absolutely spellbinding Sunday Times top ten bestselling historical fiction phenomenon

Imogen Hermes Gowar

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Vintage
05 February 2019
Fiction & Literature; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945); Historical fiction
'A cracking historical novel - with a twinge of the surreal - about passion and obsession' The Times

SHORLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018

One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock finds one of his captains waiting eagerly on his doorstep. 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, where he meets 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.

What will be the cost of their ambitions? And will they be able to escape the legendary destructive power a mermaid is said to possess?
By:   Imogen Hermes Gowar
Imprint:   Vintage
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 129mm
Weight:   391g
ISBN:   9781784705992
ISBN 10:   1784705993
Pages:   496
Publication Date:   05 February 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Imogen Hermes Gowar studied Archaeology, Anthropology and Art History before going on to work in museums. She began to write fiction inspired by the artefacts she worked with, and in 2013 won the Malcolm Bradbury Memorial Scholarship to study for an MA in Creative Writing at UEA. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock was a finalist in the MsLexia First Novel Competition and shortlisted for the inaugural Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers? Award.

Reviews for The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock: the absolutely spellbinding Sunday Times top ten bestselling historical fiction phenomenon

Hotly anticipated... a bold, sumptuous doorstopper... Gowar has created a dazzlingly original novel, full of heady pleasures and shot through with the kind of irreverent humour you might expect to find in Georgian London. She's succeeded in creating a fully-realised world that you want to get lost in. But what's most refreshing is that she gives all the best lines to women. * Evening Standard * A sumptuous historical novel... It was an absolute pleasure to lose myself in this beautifully written Georgian adventure Roll up, roll up, a true wonder is on display: a mermaid magicked out of words. The author of this debut set in Georgian London gulled me, by the zest of her writing and sustained authorial slight of hand, into forgetting for a second that they do not exist... Imogen Hermes Gowar delights in the feminine fakery of mermaids, but as a writer she is the real deal. -- Hermione Eyre, author of Viper Wine * Guardian * From the first page of this dazzling debut novel, you are pitched into a sumptuously detailed adventure set in the bustle and swagger of 18th century London... The result is a wonderfully written and richly descriptive novel, its brilliantly drawn characters driven by heady and dangerous desires.***** * Sunday Express * A cracking historical novel - with a twinge of the surreal - about passion and obsession, dreams and reality... The story is by turns intriguing, touching, funny, sad and heartwarming. It will make you laugh and it may make you cry. Mostly, though, the cast of endlessly engaging characters will keep you turning the pages until you get to the wholly satisfying ending... The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is superb. * The Times *


  • Long-listed for Desmond Elliott Prize 2018
  • Long-listed for Women's Prize for Fiction 2018 (UK)
  • Long-listed for Womens Prize for Fiction 2018 (UK)
  • Short-listed for IBW Book Award 2019 (UK)
  • Short-listed for Sunday Times/ PFD Young Writer of the Year Award 2018 (UK)

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