His Monkey Wife

John Collier



Daunt Books Publishing > Fiction

ISBN: 9781907970788

Published November 2015 by Daunt Books Publishing


Mr Fatigay is a hapless Edwardian schoolmaster posted to the Congo. His sole companion in the tropics is Emily: petite, dark and vivacious, brush­ing the floor with the knuckles of her strong capable hands. Emily is a prodigiously gifted chimpanzee of great intelligence and sensitivity, and also a secret autodidact. As she uncovers the delights of art and litera­ture, she proves to be more cultivated and compassionate than the human animals around her.

When the time comes for Mr Fatigay to return home to London, he brings Emily along – gifting her to his adored fiancée, Amy, who makes her a housemaid. To escape her stifling servitude, Emily begins donning Amy’s clothes and sneaking out across the rooftops: she reads Darwin at The British Museum (where she is taken for a fascinating woman of mystery), calls on the apes at the zoo, and discovers her talent for the stage. But her secret trips into town provide only a brief solace, as there is only one person who can make her truly happy. . .

His Monkey Wife is a comic masterpiece about a most unexpected love-triangle, and a biting satire about the nature of civilisation.


Read the first chapter here.


‘If you don’t know his work, you owe yourself the pleasure – the indispensable pleasure – of Collier.’ – Michael Chabon

‘A wayward masterpiece.’ – Anthony Burgess

‘From the first sentence the reader is aware that he is in the presence of a magician . . . [Collier] casts a spell and he does so always with a smile.’ – Paul Theroux

‘Truly sui generis . . . a small masterpiece of social satire.’ – Boston Globe

‘It’s a pity that Collier isn’t better known, as he was the creator of many an eerie tale.’ – Neil Gaiman

Delivery options

Orders are processed and dispatched Monday to Friday.

Estimated Dispatch Times:

Items are usually dispatched within twenty-four to seventy-two hours. Dispatch time does not include delivery. If one or more items are not available when you place your order there may be a delay in dispatch, so that we can send your items in as few parcels as possible. 

Latest UK Delivery Estimates

  • 1st Class - 1-2 working days
  • 2nd Class -  2-3 working days
  • Free Click and Collect at Daunt Books Marylebone

Latest International Delivery Estimates

  • Europe - Standard 7-10 working days
  • Europe - Tracked and Signed 4-7 working days
  • Rest of the World - Standard 15-20 working days
  • Rest of the World - Tracked and Signed 10-15 working days

Ongoing Covid restrictions, reduced air and freight capacity, high volumes and winter weather conditions are all impacting transportation and local delivery across the globe. 

Overseas Delivery Information

We are experiencing delays with deliveries to many countries, but in most cases local services have now resumed. For more details, please consult the latest information provided by Royal Mail's International Incident Bulletin.

Overseas Customs

If you are ordering goods for delivery outside of the UK, please note that your consignment may be subject to import duties and taxes, which are levied once the goods reach the country of destination.

Any such charges levied in relation to customs clearance must be paid by you. It is accepted by you that Daunt Books has no control over additional charges in relation to customs clearance. We recommend that you check with your local customs officials or post office for more information regarding importation taxes/duties that may be applicable to your online order as this changes country to country. 

Additional information

Weight 0.45 kg
Dimensions 20 × 13 × 5 cm