Ariel is grand, but you don’t know the tale of the little mermaid until you’ve read Hans Christian Anderson’s version. His decadent and mournful twist on mermaid lore has shaped our imaginations for centuries, and shines a searing light on the pains of growing up, identity crises, and, of course, unrequited love, which can snap an indescribable place in the heart. Cloaking this particular hurt in a macabre mythological tale gets this feeling precisely right, especially if you throw in the problems of bisexuality in an especially unaccepting time.
He was said to be a charming scholar and heir to English nobility, but Edward Mordrake suffered from an uncommon malady that drove him to suicide at only 23. This Victorian legend was spread mostly by whispers and apocryphal texts and now circulates on the internet as boiled down “creepypasta” attached to a wax rendering of the mythical man driven to madness by a second “demon” face. Was there a real Edward Mordrake, or is this just fantasy?