The Mermaid & Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

mermaid and mrs hancock

The Mermaid & Mrs Hancock is a such a beautiful book, I can’t recommend it enough. The prose is an absolute masterpiece; poetic, enchanting and exactly what you’d expect from the title. I assumed the plot itself would have more magical elements, but this isn’t the case – in fact the story is very much historical fiction rather than fantasy.

It becomes apparent the mermaid is metaphorical tool; I found myself drawing many parallels between the mermaid and what it represents in 18th century London, for example the idea of spectacle, class/status, wealth and happiness. One of my favourite quotes, aptly appearing in the final chapter, sums this up well:

“We live in a modern age, sir: the things that are wrought may be quite as extraordinary as those that are found.”

Definitely a must-read for fans of contemporary and literary fiction. Not like anything I’ve read in a while, the way the author has crafted her words is incredibly admirable and will stay with me for some time.

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