" I am filled

with a thousand voices,

begging to be

let out."

Fanny Ferris (Vocals)

 

Fanny Ferris was born in the village of Cratloe, County Clare in 1760.  She was, according to contemporary reports, a strange unearthly child and as a consequence, an early student in the school of loneliness and solitude.

 

She would often spend hours wandering alone through Cratloe Woods and it was during one of these walks shortly after her twelfth birthday that she claimed to have had her first vision.

 

It was to be the first of many and very soon she gained a reputation as a seer and prophetess, some going so far as to murmur words like 'fairy' and 'changeling'.

 

In the Winter of 1775, after writing a brief note to her mother*, she vanished.  Some say into the woods, others into 'thin air'.

 

In 1782, Captain Augustus Smollett of the frigate HMS Clytemnestra, wrote to his masters in the Admiralty;

 

"The Neptune under Captain Ferris has made great havoc amongst the merchant fleets of many nations, including our own, though it is by no means clear how.  The Neptune, after all is rumoured to be crewed, not by regular seamen, but by rogues, jongleurs, tumblers, thieves and poets.  The vessel is reported to use a type of ordnance unknown to us** and is able to sail where there is no wind, and to navigate when no stars are visible."

 

The wreck of the Neptune was discovered by divers off the North coast of County Kerry in 1993.  Her figurehead was a stallion rampant carved from ebony...

 

We catch brief, tantalising glimpses of Fanny (You're doing it again!  Ed.)  throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, in the fin de siecle half-lit world of mystics and visionaries, anarchists and necromancers.  W B Yeats pined for the love of her; the Great Beast Aleister Crowley wrote a frenziedly erotic poem describing a meeting between a priapic centaur and the 'Fair Maid of Clare' which he dedicated to 'FF'.

 

Exotic dancer, gun-runner and revolutionary.  

Close friend of Christabel Pankhurst, H G Wells, Oscar Wilde, G B Shaw and Dr Crippen.

The Immaculata.

Fanny Ferris.

 

* The note reads "The burden is become too heavy for me to bear.  The voices are driving me mad.  I love you.  Forgive me.  Fanny."

 

** In an interview in 2014, Fanny revealed the nature of the weaponry aboard the Neptune.  "We had a plasma cannon.  Archie and I liberated it from a crippled Dhar-Asheen attack ship that was trapped in a decaying orbit around Triton.  We would have got two, but Archie hurt his back."