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Maria Corelli: biography, personal life, creativity

Maria Corelli (real name - Mary McKay) is an English writer of the 19th century who worked in fantasy and gothic genres. About biography and creativity of this amazing woman, we'll talk in this article.


In the biography of this unusual writer, there are many mysteries and omissions. And the whole point is that Maria Corelli wrote it herself. Therefore, it is not always possible to distinguish truth from fiction. It can be said that Corelli made another biography of her biography.

The writer was born on May 1, 1855 in the capital of Great Britain. Mary became the illegitimate daughter of a famous songwriter and poet named Charles Mackay. Apparently, her mother was a governess in the bard's house. At that time, Charles was married, but when his wife died (Mary was then only 10 years old), he married the mother of the future writer.

For many years, Mary did not know who her real father was. The truth was revealed only after the death of Charles. Therefore, in a family surrounded by real parents, she took on the role of either adopted, or nieces, or stepdaughters.

When Mary turned 31, she took a pseudonym and changed her biography. Now she became Maria Corelli, 21-year-old daughter of the mysterious Italian prince.

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The reason that forced Mary to change her name becomes clear from a letter she wrote to one of her many admirers. It said that the writer wants to forever remain blond beautiful Italian, because Charles Mackay never treated her like his own daughter. Her childhood was filled with sorrows, which she did not dare to describe. Only at 21, Mary learned the truth about her birth and the troubles that it brought her parents. Then she chose the name Maria Corelli, because she has no reason to be called Mackay.

However, there is another explanation for the origin of the pseudonym. There is evidence that Maria not only wrote well, but also played beautifully on the piano. And the aristocratic pseudonym the girl has thought up herself for performances. However, the career of the writer was much faster, but Mary decided not to change the chosen name.

The heroine of her novel

From this moment, Maria envelops her life in mystery and mystery. And only sometimes he gives the audience a few of his photographs, previously carefully retouched. Even turning into a middle-aged lady of middle age, she continued to call herself nothing but a beautiful Italian blonde.

She created a novel image, she did not want to be thought of as a simple person. This image was carefully thought out, and the public could not see the real woman that is hiding behind him.

Maria Corelli: biography, personal life

Mary was never married. In the light, her caustic remarks about it were known. So, she said that three husbands replace her husband: a dog, growling in the morning; A parrot swearing all day; A cat returning late at night.

Nevertheless, the writer believed in great and true love, but despised the unions blessed by the church. In addition, she was an ardent opponent of Catholicism. In a friend of her life, she chose for herself Bertha Weaver, with whom they once studied at the Paris College. The lives of Mary and Bertha became together when the latter was 24 years old, and Maria was only a few years older. Their family life was ideal, they lived together until the death of Mary. Berthe survived her lover for 18 years. Both of them were buried near Stratford-upon-Avon.


Despite her image as a blond angel, Maria Corelli, whose books were a great success at her time, was a determined, businesslike and very practical woman.

When she wrote her book "The Romance of Two Worlds", she got to the review to Kane Hall, who broke the novel of the novice writer in the dust. Learning about this, Maria insisted on meeting with the critic and was able to persuade him to change his opinion to a positive one. After that, Hall began to speak with support to Corelli and even managed to convince publishers who were suspicious of the writer's woman that the novel would have a good commercial success. However, instead of keeping the story in secret, Mary began to unmask the reviewer, thereby initiating years of hostility.

Maria led a friendship with many famous writers, actresses and actors of the 19th and 20th centuries. Once in the Club of White Monks, Winston Churchill spoke with whom the writer entered into a discussion and opposed. After this, the politician sent Mary a respectful letter, in which she highly appreciated her oratory.

She made a great impression on the Prince of Wales, who later became King George V. Writer for a long time later told how the prince asked her to dine with him. Everyone who has ever met Corelli, celebrated her femininity, sincerity and grace.

Writer Henry Miller paid tribute to Maria's ability to create live scenes in her works and keep readers in suspense. He rated her books as charming and very exciting.

Last years

Maria Corelli in 1903 actively protested against the demolition of the historic cottage that was in Stratford-upon-Avon. The so-called contest of compromising materials began, the result of which was that everyone recognized the real name of Mary, which she had so carefully concealed for many years. However, the writer managed to prevail over local dignitaries and American philanthropist millionaire Andrew Carnegie, who intend to build a library on the site of the demolished house. But this scandal did not abate. Now the accusations that the real goal was to demolish the building itself and to replace it with the "Mary Corelli Library" were showered against the writer herself. After that, the writer again took up the litigation, from which she again emerged victorious. However, the costs of lawyers completely ruined her.

Nevertheless, these events did not affect the popularity of Corelli's book. And she managed to restore the Tudor decayed cottage. Today, the writer's house is part of Birmingham University. In the Stratford house Corelli located Shakespeare Institute.

The writer died on April 21, 1924.


The work of Maria Corelli is very interesting and original. It is saturated with little explored and mysterious aspects of being, for example, soul interlacing, hypnosis, astral projections, etc. The writer's works have found a response in the hearts of many ordinary readers. Nevertheless, many often scolded her novels for the weakness of dialogues, the plane of the characters, the length of the plot. Venerable critics of London treated the writer's work sharply negatively, because of which Maria led a constant war with them.

Now let's talk in more detail about the most famous novels Corelli.

"The Tribulation of Satan"

This novel was far from Corelli's first work, but became the most successful. Not having time to get out, he broke all possible records of sales and is still considered a classic of European mysticism. The book was written under the influence of the philosophical teachings of Elena Blavatsky. In the novel, the age-old theme of concluding a deal with the devil is played out. But the writer managed to contribute to the classical motif, showing that Satan more than anyone understands the true essence of the Gospel, in addition, he must convey this knowledge to people.

"The Tribulation of Satan" tells the story of a talented but poor writer named Geoffrey Tempest. At the time of the greatest despair, the philanthropist prince is given to him, who gives him a large sum of money, supposedly being a legacy of the writer.

It is worth noting that the first Russian-language publication was published under the name of Bram Stoker. It is for sure not known whether this was done intentionally or was a simple mistake, but the fact remains.

"Barabbas. The Tale of the Time of Christ "

This is the second book that was written by Maria Corelli. "Barabbas" is an artistic retelling of the life of the robber Barabbas, mentioned in the Gospel, after Pilate granted him freedom in place of Christ. The writer first depicts a tragedy that has changed the life of mankind, and then incredible joy for all believers of Palestine and the great apostles. The narrative is constructed in such a way that it seems as if everything is happening now and has not passed those two thousand years separating the reader from the events.

"Vendetta, or The Story of an Outcast"

In this work tells the story of the rich, but unhappy Count Maria Corelli. "Vendetta" describes the story of the return from the dead - the deceased protagonist returns home, desiring to take revenge. But what can come out of this? The works are unfolding on the background of mysterious and mystical Italy.

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