A mermaid irrupts into the previously humdrum life of our hero Lionel, and almost as quickly is captured by the local police acting for an unseen master villain. During his quest to rescue her, Lionel finds an old book dating from the 16th century, purporting to be an account by one of the voyagers on Drake’s ship the Golden Hinde of the discovery of St Doris Island, a previously unknown volcanic island in the Caribbean. A fact not recorded in Hakluyt‘s version, for reasons that are probably fairly obvious, is that the original inhabitants of the island turned out to be mermaids (and for all we know, still are, since St Doris Island was lost to naval charts for reasons explained in the book).
In any event, Milton Marmalade asked me to reproduce as best I may the frontispiece to Sir Henry Herring’s book which he claims to possess but has mislaid, so all I have to go on is the description in A Mermaid in the Bath. I have tried to emulate the sometimes crude but equally delightful style of 16th century woodcuts, although I have used lino. You can get your very own limited-edition artist’s print from my Etsy store.
In the picture you can see, as described, on one side Drake’s Golden Hinde at anchor together with a traditional sea monster (and it is left to the reader to decide whether that is somehow symbolic of the threat to gentle people everywhere of colonialist expansion) and on the other, St Doris Island and its volcano fringed with palm trees, together with frolicking flying fishes (and the reader may or may not surmise symbolism here too).
In the centre is, as also described, a triumphantly naked mermaid. The print is on acid-free tracing paper, which when mounted on a white background makes a luminous impression. Also tracing paper is smooth and takes the ink well, leaving a sharp image (sharper in fact than the above photograph suggests). The size of the paper is A3 and the size of the image is approximately A4 (8.3×11.7 inches which is 210x297mm). There will be no more than 30 signed and numbered in addition to the artist’s proof.
Tasteful, yet erotic. Yet tasteful. You know you want one.