The mermaid and Mrs. Hancock : a history in three volumes / written by Imogen Hermes Gowar

The mermaid and Mrs. Hancock : a history in three volumes / written by Imogen Hermes Gowar.

Review submitted by an Elanora library staff member.

For something totally different this book has it all.

Historical fiction with a twist.  A tale that involves

a mermaid, a merchant, a brothel and courtesans in Georgian London.

As I write this it is International Women’s Day and this novel highlights a new look at feminist fiction.

Single women who lived in the 18th century had little choice in living a comfortable and secure life doing “honest” jobs. They certainly didn’t enjoy the opportunities and status that their male contemporaries did. I found it a fascinating look into the world of courtesans, madams and servants on the make.

The  characters are well drawn and the period details of Georgian London combine to make it a wonderful romp through the time. The merchant, Jonah Hancock, about who this tale revolves, is a very likeable character. He gets caught up in the dream of finding a mermaid, something a bit different to his usual cargo. This then takes him into the world of madams and brothels.

A very unusual story-line but a story that I did enjoy.

Historical fiction meets fantasy in Georgian London.