The Sea Lady
The idea of The Sea Lady came to Wells one day in 1900 while lying on the beach at Sandgate. Never well received by the critics or the reading public (the first edition was not exhausted until many years after its publication in book form in 1902), this rather slight tale appears at first sight to be merely a variation on the theme of The Wonderful Visit, with a mermaid as the critical visitant in place of an angel. Its importance lies not so much in the quality of its writing, which is admittedly undistinguished, but rather in its symbolic undertones; for The Sea Lady is in essence a fantasia on a theme which was to dominate Wells’s fiction for several decades—‘the harsh incompatibility of wide public interests with the high, swift rush of imaginative passion’.15
KeywordsBook Form Imaginative Power Reading Public Romantic Passion Plain Truth
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