The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock, with Imogen Hermes Gowar

mermaid and mrs hancock

Fake Mermaids, Real Courtesans and 18th Century Mermaid Science with the author of “The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock”


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Episode Info:

We’re back with more mermaid authors and mermaid history! Laura von Holt interviewed the lovely and talented Imogen Hermes Gowar, the author of a new book titled The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is a gorgeous historical novel, set in 1780s London, about a merchant named Jonah Hancock who finds that, while on a trading voyage to the Far East, the captain of his ship has sold his vessel, and instead of bringing back cargo, he has brought him a mermaid artifact. To make back his fortune, Jonah must display this brown, wizened mermaid for all of London, which leads him into the circle of one of London’s most celebrated courtesans, Angelica Neal. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but there are plenty of mermaids, both dead and living in this book, and it’s wonderful. This story is inspired by a mermaid specimen at the British Museum, where Imogen Hermes Gowar used to work, and if you listened to our interview with mermaid historian Sarah Peverley (Season 2, Episode 2), you will remember our conversation about these types of popular mermaid artifacts that were collected and displayed in Britain.

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is shortlisted for the Women’s Prize in Fiction. If you like Harlots on Hulu, Freeform’s Siren and Jane Austen, then you will love this book. At the end of the interview, host Laura von Holt comes up with a slogan that we all need tatted on our bodies: If you can believe in mermaids, you can believe in yourself!

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This is episode is sponsored by Mermaid Magic. Get 20% off biodegradable glitter and mermaid scales with PODCAST20 at https://getmermaidmagic.com/discount/PODCAST20.

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Meet The Mermaids In this Episode

Follow Imogen Hermes Gowar: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Mermaid in the British Museum

Trade, Davos, Ocean travel and Mermaids: BBC Interview with Sarah Peverley & Imogen Hermes Gowar.

Check out more real mermaids and mermaid history on The Mermaid Podcast!

Photo credit: Ollie Grove

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About the author

Laura von Holt, Fairy Boss Mother

Laura von Holt is the Fairy Boss Mother of Cinderly. Her goal in life is to lead the first fairy godmother empire, be the Lisa Frank of the Digital World, and make magic real for sparkle unicorns and boss ladies everywhere. A triple threat, Laura is a Pulitzer Prize contender, a Certified Fairyologist and a graduate of Weeki Wachee Sirens of the Deep mermaid camp. She writes romance novels under the pen name of Laura Lovely.


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