Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections


Marie Corelli Collection, 1885-1932

Part I: Description

Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library
Collection Number:M 2

Copyright © 2000 by Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library


Total Boxes: 1
Linear Feet: 0.50

Administrative Information


Acquired by purchase and gift from various sources.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Marie Corelli Collection is the physical property of the Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns.

Cite as:

Marie Corelli Collection, Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library.

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.



MARIE CORELLI (1855-1924)

Marie Corelli was the pseudonym of Mary Mackay, a novelist who was born in London on 1 May 1855 as the illegitimate child of Charles Mackay, who was a poet and journalist, and Mary Mills, a servant whom Mackay later married. Corelli began her career as a musician, but soon turned to writing instead and published her first novel, A Romance of Two Worlds, in 1886. Corelli became a best-selling author, and her later writings, such as Thelma: A Society Novel and Barabbas: A Dream of the World's Tragedy, established her as one of the most popular novelists in Britain, whose work often had themes relating to psychic experience and to religion. Corelli lived her adult life with Bertha Vyver. In 1901, Corelli purchased the house, Mason Croft, in Stratford-on-Avon, where they lived until Corelli's death on 21 April 1924.


The Marie Corelli Collection is organized into two series: Correspondence, and Other Materials. Series I, Correspondence, is organized into three subseries: Outgoing Correspondence, Incoming Correspondence, and Third Party Correspondence. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically. Outgoing Correspondence comprises the main bulk of the series and includes letters to friends, editors, and others regarding her writing and social activities. Almost all of the letters, which cover the period from 1886 to 1923, are handwritten and signed by Corelli, although a few were typed by her secretary.

The Incoming Correspondence consists of a letter from W. A. Hobbes arranging an appointment, a letter from the Lyric Theatre about Corelli's The Master Christian, and a number of letters from A. S. Watt that relate to a copyright lawsuit brought by Corelli in 1913 regarding Temporal Power.

Third Party Correspondence contains a number of letters from Corelli's half-brother, Eric Mackay, to publishers regarding his writings. There are two letters from Field, Roscoe & Co. regarding Corelli's estate and Bertha Vyver's share in it, and there are two letters from Vyver to Mrs. Hobbes regarding a concert in 1903.

Series II, Other Materials, is organized into Writings, and Other. Writings contains two handwritten passages from Barabbas, a lecture on Byron, a letter to the editor of The Daily Call, and a transcription of Algernon Charles Swinburne's poem, "Tintagel." There is also a proof of a poem by Eric Mackay that has been annotated by Corelli. The second subseries, Other, contains balance sheets written after Corelli's death, listing sales and royalties of her books from 1919 to 1927; two copies of contracts relating to the Temporal Power copyright lawsuit; some notes, probably by agents, regarding Corelli's publishing options in 1909; a 1922 inscribed photograph of Corelli; three postcards depicting Corelli circa 1900; and one postcard circa 1990, showing Corelli's house as it looked in the 1940s.

PART II: Box and Folder List

Processing and description by Miriam B. Spectre.



Full List of Guides to the Collections
Abbreviations Used in Guides


Last Update: November 14, 2013 , Special Collections at