Since she was found as a baby, floating in the Thames one foggy night, the web-toed Pearl has been brought up in a brothel known as the House of Mermaids. Cosseted and pampered there, it is only when her fourteenth birthday approaches that Pearl realises she is to be sold to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, the orphaned twins, Lily and Elijah, have shared an idyllic childhood, raised in a secluded country house with their grandfather, Augustus Lamb. But when Lily and Elijah go on a visit London, a chance meeting with the ethereal Pearl will have repercussions for all of them, binding their fates together in a dark and dangerous way...In this bewitching, sensual novel, Essie Fox has written another tale of obsessive love and betrayal, moving from the respectable worlds of Victorian art and literature, and into the shadowy demi-monde of brothels, asylums and freak show tents - a world in which nothing and no-one is quite what they seem to be.
Essie Fox writes dark Victorian novels. The Somnambulist, Elijah's Mermaid, and her latest, The Goddess and the Thief, are sensual gothic mysteries published by Orion Books.
Born and raised in Herefordshire, after studying English Literature at Sheffield University, Essie moved to London, first to work for the Telegraph Sunday Magazine and then for George, Allen & Unwin, the publishers of Tolkien. A change of career when a daughter was born saw Essie become an illustrator - a passion that lasted twenty years, and during which she designed greetings cards, gift wrap and ceramics, all under the name of Sarah Bengry.
Essie now divides her time between Bow in East London and Windsor - from where she pursues her writing career.
For more information: http://www.essiefox.com/
For news about talks and events: http://www.essiefoxnews.blogspot.com/
To read Essie's popular Victorian blog: http://www.virtualvictorian.blogspot.com
See many of the images that have inspired Essie's novels on her Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/essiefoxauthor/