Marie Corelli

I like to download out of copyright books from Gutenberg, and when I have spare time, read them. I download without too much discrimination, although I confess that I have a slight prejudice against women writers, which ill behooves me and almost certainly stunts my education. However, perhaps by accident I downloaded and started to read “the Sorrows of Satan” by Marie Corelli.

Not having heard of Corelli, when I down loaded the book I imagined that she was an italian writer and that I would be reading some old translation of her work. As i read i was impressed, impressed enough to find out a bit more about the author who wrote so beautifully and with such insight.

In fact, Corelli was Scottish and sold more copies of her work than did Conan Doyle and H G wells combined. I can see why this was the case, because she writes with a clarity that other contemporaries  of hers frequently failed to achieve, and with the same deep insight into the mores of Victorian and Edwardian England as Jane Austin displayed a hundred and fifty years earlier.

Unlike Austin, Corelli deals in religion, philosophy and morality, as well as social relationships. She poses interesting ideas and thoughts, like a true renegade free thinker, which I find stimulating and provoking. Unlike Austin she comments about people at every level of society, and her comments are not condemnatory  we are allowed to draw our own conclusions, but those conclusions are carefully steered by Corelli.

Her descriptions of people, which is a hard thing to write about successfully, are very beautiful, especially her descriptions of women. You understand from her not only the person that she describes but the almost precise feelings that that person evokes in the mind of those around him or her.

The great puzzle is, why is Corelli now almost completely forgotten  not even meriting a footnote in the history of English literature by those you study it professionally? I expect that the real reason is intellectual snobbery; after all a hundred or so years ago you could hardly expect the illegitimate daughter of a Scottish doctor and his housemaid to have any intellectual substance, could you?

3 Responses

  1. I have mentioned many time in the past about the right and title of the female Rob, this is still a grey area and women are still not seen as an equal in mind or monetary equality.

    Victor Rothschild told one of my aquaintances when he was a very young boy at Leys, that women make the very best spies because, from an early age they often keep a daily diary of theirs and their freinds lives, here is the achilles heel for anything manually important that men do not want revealed, leaked out into their world of secrecy.

    You mentioned history, has one seen the state of the curriculum in the learned institutions today, history is devoid of true history on the whole by design. See where gender and mind is being steered for the future answers.

    • Perhaps women and men are not equal but different, in the way that an apple and orange are not equal but different. I must admit to this grey area in my old and imperfect grey matter.

  2. The apple and orange are equal Rob, they both reley upon nature for their energy, from a seed and drink the same water from heaven.

    A bit like you solar pannels, Now there’s a selling line for you.

    Women are exactly equal rob, the men simply won’t recognise the right and title of it, except this man of old grey matter.

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