Fine debut conjures up a vivid Georgian London

A book about ambition, and pride, and class, and race and gender -- and a rollicking good read

28th January, 2018

Fiction: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, By Imogen Hermes Gowar, Harvill Secker, €16.45

How much is a miracle worth? That’s the question that all the characters in this extraordinary debut novel must confront.

The story begins in Deptford, where a widowed merchant called Jonah Hancock is worrying about the fate of a cargo ship that hasn’t been heard from for 18 months. Meanwhile, several miles and a million worlds away, a...

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