Publication Details

Crozier-De Rosa, S. 2010, 'Marie Corelli (1855-1924)', The Latchkey: A Journal of New Woman Studies, vol. 2, no. 1,

Additional Publication Information

Noted in the section of the journal under the title, 'Featured New Women'


During her lifetime, Marie Corelli (pseudonym for Mary Mackay) managed to attain what would today be referred to as superstar status. According to one of her biographers, Brian Masters, Corelli reigned as the bestselling writer in the world for almost thirty years, during which time at least thirty of the novels she published were ‘world best-sellers.’ Her romances, blending sensationalism with transcendentalism, outsold those of all her contemporary literary rivals, and she broke all previous publishing records by selling an average of 100,000 copies of her books per year. It was not unusual to hear of thousands fighting to touch her gown when she made scheduled public appearances. She was a celebrity in a new age of mass media. However, public opinion was not entirely even. Contemporary reviews of her writing, for example, ranged from being ‘savage and merciless’, according to Methuen publishing house founder, Sir Algernon Methuen, to public endorsements by leading figures including William Gladstone and Queen Victoria.

Link to publisher version (URL)

The Latchkey