Merpeople

A Human History

Vaughn Scribner

Merpeople

Vaughn Scribner

Distributed for Reaktion Books

320 pages | 100 color plates, 17 halftones | 6 1/4 x 8 1/4
Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9781789143140 Will Publish September 2020 For sale in North and South America only
People have been fascinated by merpeople and merfolk since ancient times. From the sirens of Homer’s Odyssey to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and the film Splash, myths, stories, and legends of half-human, half-fish creatures abound. In modern times “mermaiding” has gained popularity among cosplayers throughout the world. In Merpeople: A Human History, Vaughn Scribner traces the long history of mermaids and mermen, taking in a wide variety of sources and using 117 striking images. From film to philosophy, church halls to coffee houses, ancient myth to modern science, Scribner shows that mermaids and tritons are—and always have been—everywhere.
Review Quotes
Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Merpeople offers an imaginative and beautifully illustrated survey of the persistent yet mutable fascination that these compound creatures have exerted over the last few millennia.”
Philip Hayward, University of Technology Sydney, and editor of "Scaled for Success: The Internationalisation of the Mermaid"
"Merpeople is an impressive work. It provides a thoroughly researched overview of the circulation of mermaids and mermen in various cultural contexts. Scribner's analyses are well-supported by a range of striking visual material and the book is a valuable contribution to studies of the interface between folklore and popular culture."
Jennifer A. Kokai, Weber State University, and author of "Swim Pretty: Aquatic Spectacles and the Performance of Race, Gender, and Nature"
“Scribner’s thorough, engaging, much-needed book fills an enormous gap in scholarship on mermaids. While serving as a comprehensive overview of their significance in Western culture, the book expands into examining merpeople globally, making it essential reading for anyone interested in how mermaids, or mythological creatures generally, shape and are shaped by cultures.”
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