Famous in more recent centuries is the fairy tale The Little Mermaid (1836) by Hans Christian Andersen, whose works have been translated into over 100 languages.

The mermaid (as conceived by Andersen) is similar to an undine, a water nymph in German folklore who could only obtain an immortal soul by marrying a human being.

Andersen's heroine inspired a bronze sculpture in Copenhagen harbour and influenced Western literary works such as Oscar Wilde's The Fisherman and His Soul and H.G. Wells' The Sea Lady.

Sue Monk Kidd wrote a book called The Mermaid Chair loosely based on the legends of Saint Senara and the mermaid of Zennor.

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