Marie Corelli
Marie Corelli, Gondola
Old Postcard, Stratford-upon-Avon, Masons Croft
Mason's Croft - a 1910 postcard.
Marie Corelli and her Pet Dog
For more information about
Marie Corelli, click
Stratford-upon-Avon, Tudor House
The inscription underneath the side window of Tudor House reads
"The Old Tudor House. Built in the XVI Century and restored by
Miss Marie Corelli".
Mason Croft, probably in the mid-fifties (clue is TV aerial on the
house on the left). Note that the words "British Council" have been
inked out at the bottom left.
"Miss Marie Corelli in her gondola 'The Dream' on the Avon.
Stratford-upon-Avon Regatta, Marie Corelli
A lovely old real photo postcard of Marie Corelli presenting the
prizes at the 1912 Regatta.
See below for more about this postcard.
Postcards of the Past
Marie Corelli
Marie Corelli was born Mary Mackay, the daughter of Charles Mackay, a Scottish poet and song-writer. She became a talented
pianist in her early years and adopted the pseudonym of Marie Corelli. Later she turned to writing romantic fiction. She moved to
Stratford in 1901 and bought Mason's Croft where she lived for many years. She became a local legend in the town with her
colourful life-style. My grandparents often told me about her and her gondola in which she could regularly be seen on the river.
The postcards of her on this website have come down to me from my grandparents - like the old theatre fire postcards, many
Stratford people seem to have collected them. One more point - old Stratford people will know that her name was always
pronounced "Marry", not "Maree" !
Follow this link to read about Marie
Corelli, Fred Winter and the row about the
Public Library in Henley Street
Below are two photographs, sent to us by Richard Le Gallais, of Marie Corelli's pony being attended to by a blacksmith. Richard is
trying to identify the blacksmith, as his father-in-law's father, Harold Furby, (incidentally the father of an old school-friend of mine
at KES), used to work for the blacksmith. As far as I can ascertain, the nearest forge to Marie's house would have been on Sheep
Street, which is where my grandfather, Fred Jones, had his business. This would have been the logical place for Marie to send her
pony to be shod and thus the blacksmith in the photos may well have been my grandfather's predecessor at the Sheep Street
premises, which I used to frequent as a child in the 1940s. My grandfather died in 1947.
If you can identify the blacksmith, please
contact us !!
Marie Corelli Fined for Hoarding Sugar.
The New York Times for 3 January 1918 reported a trial at Stratford-upon-Avon Police Court the previous day at which Marie
Corelli was fined for unlawfully hoarding sugar, then an offence because of food shortages during World War 1. Counsel for the
Ministry of Food said that on the basis of half a pound of sugar per head per week, her household was entitled to have purchased
32 lbs of sugar during the months in question, whereas it actually obtained 179 lbs, plus 50 lbs of preserving sugar. Miss Corelli's
defence was that the sugar was used for jam making and that the current regulations did not apply to this. Her counsel contended
that she acted patriotically in preserving fruit for future use. When the police called at her house, she is reported to have said
"You are upsetting the country altogether with your food orders. Lloyd George will be resigning tomorrow and there will be a
revolution in less than a week." She was fined £50 with £21 costs.
In April 2010, we were contacted by Monica Cure from the USA about three of our postcards of Marie Corelli. Monica was writing a
doctoral dissertation on turn-of-the-century literature, and came across a report in the New York Times for 13 May 1906 about
another court case involving Marie Corelli in which the novelist applied for in injunction to restrain A and E Wall of
Stratford-upon-Avon from publishing picture postcards purporting to depict scenes in her private life.
Miss Corelli's counsel stated that the defendants produced sets
of postcards called "The Distinguished Authors Series".
Objection to the cards was at once taken by Miss Corelli and the
judge was asked to compare them with a recent photo of Miss
Corelli from which he would see what a gross libel had been
perpetrated on her features. One card was styled "Shakespeare
and his Contemporaries", from which it was inferred that the
defendants were suggesting that Shakespeare and Miss Corelli
were contemporaries.
Considerable annoyance had been occasioned to Miss Corelli by the publication of the cards, and the offence was aggravated by
the fact that after the stationers and W H Smith and Son at Stratford-upon-Avon had stopped selling the cards, the defendants
employed a large body of sandwich men to parade the place, including the front of Miss Corelli's house, with notices that the cards
could be obtained at the defendants' place of business or private house. This had made the private life of Miss Corelli intolerable.
The judge granted the injunction.
Counsel read the affidavit of Miss Corelli in which she stated that she went to Stratford-upon-Avon for the purpose of obtaining
privacy, and had never consented to the publication of the cards, which were calculated to expose her to unjust contempt in relation
to her private life and prejudice her in her profession as an authoress.
The affidavit of Miss Edith Wall, in reply, declared that, so far from seeking privacy at Stratford-upon-Avon, Miss Corelli had courted
publicity in every way. If the portraits of Miss Corelli had been flattering, nothing would have been heard of the action. Very few
ladies would admit that a photo did them justice, and it was assumed that Miss Corelli was no exception to the rule. If that was a
libel, every exhibition at the Royal Academy would result in a collection of libels.
The case was adjourned.

Monica is continuing her research to try to discover what happened. Three of the postcards are reproduced above. The signature
on them is clearly A Wall. There must be others too, so if anyone can help with more information about this case, or more images,
we would be most grateful. Contact us at  (the above written c 2010)
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Marie Corelli book
We've been sent this image of a postcard
from 1905 !
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Birthday Card, Marie Corelli
Birthday Card, Marie Corelli
by Postcards of the Past
Old Postcard - Marie Corelli - Stratford-upon-Avon
Old Postcard - Marie Corelli - Stratford-upon-Avon
by Postcards of the Past
Old Postcard - Shakespeare Memorial Theatre
Old Postcard - Shakespeare Memorial Theatre
by Postcards of the Past
In conjunction with Zazzle, we have produced an extensive range of gifts, using images from these old postcards.
The items available include many reproduction postcards, coffee mugs, Christmas cards, birthday cards, key
chains, fridge magnets, watches etc. Many images on these pages have a direct link to a reproduction postcard -
just click on the image to see and buy it ! (They are only about £1 each, with big discounts for bulk purchases !).
Most items may be personalised.  To view more gifts based on our old postcards, follow
this link.
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