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Goose of Hermogenes
Goose of Hermogenes

Goose of Hermogenes


160 Pages, 4.75 x 7.25

Cloth, $21.95 (US $21.95) (CA $29.95)

Publication Date: November 2018

ISBN 9780720620214

Rights: US & CA

Peter Owen Publishers (Nov 2018)

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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 and esoteric fiction, and is illustrated here with Ithell Colquhoun's beautiful alchemical paintings

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. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the weird and wonderful alchemical novel Goose of Hermogenes. An unnamed woman must escape her uncle's island when his sinister attentions fall upon an heirloom—a priceless jewel in her possession—that may help in his tireless efforts to conquer death. Gothic, erotic and dreamlike, Goose of Hermogenes is a dizzying work of surrealist imagination. This new edition features five of Colquhoun's watercolor paintings originally painted to illustrate the novel. This tale remains today as vividly unforgettable and disturbing as when it was first published by Peter Owen in 1961.


"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

Author Biography

Ithell Colquhoun was a painter and writer who was one of the best-known English women surrealists. A friend of André Breton, she was also associated with Aleister Crowley. Her writing has been compared to that of William Blake and Walter de la Mare—the latter being a fan of her work. Richard Shillitoe is a biographer of Ithell Colquhoun and an expert on her writing and art. He runs the website