The Sea Lady is a fantasy novel by H. G. Wells, first published in 1902.
A mermaid contrives to have herself "rescued from drowning" and adopted by a respectable family on the English coast. Her motive, which she conceals for quite a while, is to win the heart of a handsome but irresponsible young man whom she glimpsed when he went swimming in the Pacific.
Introduced into polite society as an invalid, she proves to be intelligent and charming, but as an immortal she regards the concerns of the English gentry with critical detachment. The young man, who is already engaged, falls under her spell and begins to doubt the importance of the political career into which his fiancée has been directing him.
There are, after all, "other dreams." But does his new relationship offer him any real future?
Couched in the language of fantasy and romance that blends with light-hearted social satire, The Sea Lady explores serious themes of nature, sex, the imagination, and the ideal in an Edwardian world in which moral restraints are loosening. Wells wrote in Experiment in Autobiography that The Sea Lady reflected his "craving for some lovelier experience than life had yet given me."
In its narrative structure, The Sea Lady plays cleverly with conventions of historical and journalistic research and verification.
Herbert George "H. G." Wells (1866-1946) was an English writer, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing textbooks and rules for war games.
Wells is one person sometimes called "The Father of Science Fiction", as are Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback. His most notable science fiction works include The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau.