book cover of The Story of the Siren

The Story of the Siren

(1920)
A novel by

 
 
The cream of Edwardian supernatural fiction. The Story of the Siren is a a prayer of hope for the future and a hymn to the destructive and redemptive power of nature. Told in the format of a story-within-a-story, a pompous British tourist in Sicily loses a manuscript on Deism to the sea and in return hears a terrifying and wonderful story about a mermaid from his tour guide.

The story he hears is brutal, violent and sad, echoing melancholy mermaid tales such as Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid and Oscar Wilde's The Fisherman and His Soul. However, Forster's contribution to mermaid tales has a powerful political side, being a condemnation of the repression and hypocrisy of early twentieth-century society, especially its treatment of outsiders. "People began to hate us. The children first- everything begins with them."

Some readers might find the strong anti-Christian streak in this story a little unsettling. It's undeniable that The Story of the Siren characterises the Edwardian Christian church as dogmatic, misogynistic and at odds with the natural world, which in Forster's works is dangerous but authentic and redemptive. The mermaid is nature at its most untameable:

"The priests have blessed the air, so she cannot breathe it, and blessed the rocks, so that she cannot sit on them. But the sea no man can bless, because it is too big, and always changing. Therefore she lives in the sea."

Genre: Thriller

Used availability for E M Forster's The Story of the Siren

Hardback Editions

October 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Story of the Siren
Author(s): E M 1879-1970 Forster
ISBN: 0-342-93707-3 / 978-0-342-93707-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Franklin Classics
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August 2015 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Story of the Siren
Author(s): E M 1879-1970 Forster
ISBN: 1-298-54800-4 / 978-1-298-54800-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Andesite Press
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May 2000 : USA Library Binding

Title: The Story of the Siren (Collected Works of E.M. Forster)
Author(s): E M Forster
ISBN: 0-7426-3110-9 / 978-0-7426-3110-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Classic Books
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Paperback Editions

November 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Story of the Siren
Author(s): E M 1879-1970 Forster
ISBN: 0-344-97396-4 / 978-0-344-97396-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Franklin Classics Trade Press
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January 2013 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Story of the Siren
Author(s): Forster E M (Edward Morgan 1879-1970
ISBN: 1-313-12132-0 / 978-1-313-12132-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: HardPress Publishing
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September 2010 : USA Paperback
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Title: The story of the siren
Author(s): E M 1879-1970 Forster
ISBN: 1-178-39775-0 / 978-1-178-39775-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Nabu Press
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Audio Editions

February 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Story of the Siren
Author(s): E M Forster
Publisher: MuseumAudiobooks.com
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

January 2019 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Story of the Siren
Author(s): E M Forster
Publisher: iOnlineShopping.com
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU