Ithell Colquhoun was a leading British surrealist artist and writer, whose love of the esoteric and the occult had a profound influence on her work. No where is this more apparent than in the weird and wonderful alchemical novel Goose of Hermogenes.
This new hardback edition features Colquhoun’s watercolour illustrations for the novel and contains a previously missing chapter.
A young nameless woman must escape her uncle’s island when his sinister attentions fall upon an heirloom – a priceless jewel in her possession – that may be useful in his relentless attempts to conquer death by black magic.
Considered almost impenetrable by the novel’s original editor, Muriel Spark, Goose of Hermogenes has since acquired a legendary status as a work of surrealist fiction. Illustrated with Colquhoun’s beautiful alchemical paintings, and contextualised by biographer Richard Shillitoe, this new edition can be fully appreciated for its intoxicating strangeness.
‘Lurks somewhere between the territory of Beardsley and Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast … shudderingly enjoyable.' – Guardian
‘The whole novel possesses a haunting, visionary quality most uncommon in present-day prose.’ – Daily Telegraph
‘An extraordinary book … the descriptions have a gripping hallucinogenic clarity … Part Gothic fantasy, part emblematic progress through a dream world where we are never sure we have the complete key to the meaning, we see the workings of a perceptive and curious painterly eye.’ – Mandrake Speaks