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The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock
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The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock (Hardback)

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This voyage is special. It will change everything... 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. What will be the cost of their ambitions? 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.

Fiction & PoetryHistorical FictionFiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Vintage Publishing Publication Date: 25/01/2018 ISBN-13: 9781911215721  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Not currently available to order online.  

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.

See our Author Page for Imogen Hermes Gowar

More books by Imogen Hermes Gowar

Customer Reviews

Captivating, mystical and gritty. Would recommend.

- 08/04/2018
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I did enjoy this debut novel but I'm not entirely sure why as it breaks all the rules of what makes a really good book. I think it was the 18th Century setting that sucked me in, beautifully evoked with some wonderful images and narrative. By the end I was loathe to leave Mr Hancock and Angelica and had no idea how it was all going to end ... This is an odd but likeable novel though it had (for me) some faults: sub-plots that went nowhere and left us wondering about certain characters, the main characters are intriguing but I didn't feel I ever really got to know any of them, the italicised chapters didn't add anything and could easily have been cut, I'm not convinced by some of Angelica's decisions either as I can't believe she was so naïve at times (considering her profession and education). Despite my misgivings it was still an immersive read and I had to finish it. I am looking forward to reading Gowar's second novel as I'm sure her writing will only get better and better.

- 02/04/2018
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An intoxicating mix of historical fiction with fantastical elements. The characters are three dimensional and interesting. They all add to the rich texture of the London of the book. Such a beautiful book too.

- 13/03/2018
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Beautifully written, wonderful detail of the time and characters, intriguing story. It's clever, witty, bawdy and fun. Highly recommend this book.

- 12/03/2018
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Staff Choice

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is an utter delight. I fell in love with it from the first page. It's one of the very best kinds of book: it gives you tingles of excitement when you pick it up, you are reluctant to put it down and you want to talk about it with everyone. It's written with an infectious enthusiasm for its period and characters, is witty and filthy and is surely destined to be my book of 2018.

Sarah, Web Shop Manager

Read our exclusive interview with Imogen Hermes Gowar

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 22/01/2018


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