The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock

Cover of the book, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.

Written by:

Published by: Vintage

★★★★★
★★★★★

3.62, based on 10,059 reviews.

Goodreads says:

'A cracking historical novel – with a twinge of the surreal – about passion and obsession' The TimesSHORLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018One 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?

Waterstones says:

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?

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018


Rating breakdown

★★★★★
★★★★★
3.62 out of 5 stars (10,059 ratings)
5 19% (1,943 ratings)
4 39% (3,953 ratings)
3 29% (2,891 ratings)
2 10% (982 ratings)
1 3% (290 ratings)

About Imogen Hermes Gowar

Imogen studied Archaeology, Anthropology and Art History at UEA’s Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts before going on to work in museums. She began to write small pieces of fiction inspired by the artefacts she worked with and around, and in 2013 won the Malcolm Bradbury Memorial Scholarship to study for an MA in Creative Writing at UEA.

She won the Curtis Brown Prize for her dissertation, which grew into a novel titled The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock. An early draft was a finalist in the...
[Read more about Imogen Hermes Gowar]


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